Citing a changing situation on the ground, Melco Resorts and Entertainment CEO Lawrence Ho Yau Lung announced that his company was pulling its casino resort plans for the city of Yokohama, while reiterating that they'll be looking within the country to build a site.
Ho said that Yokohama's Mayor Takeharu Yamanaka's anti-casino resort stance caused Melco to abandon the Yokohama property, as the city was changing its casino policy to not allow the construction of such a facility. This will see the Melco Yokohama office closed while the staff looks at additional possibilities within the country for which to build a resort.
Melco currently operates casinos in Cyprus, Macao, and the Philippines. Ho said that Yokohama's casino resort would have put the city on a "global stage of tourism", but will now be looking elsewhere.
Commenting on the decision Ho said, "The new mayor, having campaigned on an anti-IR platform, has now closed the door on the process we engaged in with our partners."
"While we are disappointed, we are grateful for the friendships that we have formed throughout the process and express our sincere gratitude to the people and government of Yokohama, as well as our business and community partners, for their tremendous support.
"Melco has been working on the ground in Japan for over a decade. We firmly believe in the country's long-term potential and remain committed to exploring opportunities to develop the world's best integrated resort in Japan."