While many industry analysts continue to assume that either Tokyo or Yokohama will pursue an IR bid, the political realities of Japanese local communities seem to indicate otherwise.

In the case of Tokyo, it’s entirely unclear why analysts should believe there’s a serious possibility that it will seek an IR at this time. The metropolitan government’s administrative bandwidth is already absorbed by preparations for the 2020 Olympics.

The potential sites for an IR are earmarked for other Olympics-related construction. Politically, too, there’s no reason to believe that Governor Yuriko Koike desires the kind of political fight that it would take to propel a strikingly unpopular casino initiative.

Yokohama is far more plausible. Mayor Fumiko Hayashi had earlier embraced an IR initiative and the city has conducted various studies. Elements of the business community are strongly in favour, though the local opposition is also quite robust. Mayor Hayashi says she hasn’t made any decision yet, and she may indeed decide that the prize isn’t worth the struggle.

Source: Asia Gaming Brief