Results of a survey taken by Yokohama city at a briefing for citizens held in June were published on the city website this week. According to these results, the general impression of IRs did not change much after the briefing, with the general opinion remaining that it will “affect public safety in a negative way.”
A total of 350 people attended the briefings, held in four locations (Naka, Hodogaya, Tuzuki and Totsuka wards) throughout Yokohama city over two days on 25 and 26 June. Of those, 333 people or 95.1% of participants answered the survey.
The survey asked about the respondents’ impression of IRs with seven choices, including “Other” as an option for open-ended answers. In order to get an idea of whether there were any changes after hearing the city’s explanation, respondents were encouraged to check multiple answers both before and after the briefings.
The result was that the most given response pre-briefing was 180 checks for “Public safety will worsen,” followed by “There will be (gambling) addiction,” (172 responses) and “It will encourage tourism,” (124 responses). After the briefing the order was the same with “Public safety will worsen,” remaining at the top with 134 responses, still followed by addiction (dropping to 133) and tourism development (108 responses).
Regarding the appeal of IRs, most respondents selected “Revitalization of city economy,” “Increased tax revenue,” and “Additional sightseeing/entertainment venues,” while they selected “Increased addiction,” “Contribution to anti-social forces,” and “Worsened public safety in the area,” for concerns they had.
The open-ended opinion responses included many critical opinions and those opposing an IR bid such as, “It feels like this briefing and these reports are only made to promote casinos.” However, there were also respondents in favor of the bid stating, “Yokohama has reached a point where an IR is absolutely necessary for economic revitalization.”
While the city published the survey results on its official website, there was no announcement to the media. The reason given for this was that, “Briefing results are not normally announced to the media.”