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To build up Japan presence

Melco will open Yokohama office in preparation for IR bid

Global casino investor Melco International Development says the group will soon open a third office in Japan, this time in the city of Yokohama, the country’s second-largest metropolis by population. The group already has offices in Tokyo and Osaka. “Japan continues to be the group’s core focus,” said the firm in a recent filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

“With offices in Tokyo and Osaka and an upcoming one in Yokohama along with a local leadership team, the group is now fully engaged to explore local partnerships and to further build up our local presence,” it added.

The mayor in the city of Yokohama publicly declared last month – for the first time – support for getting a casino resort there. “We must look to Yokohama’s future, the 20 to 30 years ahead,” Fumiko Hayashi reportedly stated.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that in order to achieve growth and development, we need integrated resort (IR),” she added.

Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, Melco International’s chairman and chief executive, was quoted in the filing as saying that the group was “dedicated” to becoming an international IR operator in Japan.

“In the past few months, we have released designs of our proposed Osaka integrated resort and participated in the Yokohama’s request-for-information and Osaka’s request-for-concept,” said Mr Ho.

He added his firm believed it was in a “strong position to be a partner” regarding “Japan’s journey” toward the creation of an integrated resort business “with unique Japanese touch”.

A number of international casino operators has declared interest in vying for a Japan casino resort licence. Up to three IRs will be allowed in a first phase of market liberalisation.

Source: GMB / GGR Asia