The Japanese metropolis of Osaka is willing to receive in March, any new applications from private-sector interests seeking to partner Osaka in its tilt at hosting a casino resort scheme. The news was given in a Friday statement, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
The same announcement noted that the building of a casino complex with casino, meeting facilities, shops, hotels and entertainment – an integrated resort (IR) as they are known in Japan – could take place in Osaka after 2023, should the metropolis eventually gain the national certification to do so. A site on Yumeshima island (pictured in a file photo), has been earmarked for any such development.
United States-based casino operator MGM Resorts International and its local partner Orix have been the sole qualified consortium so far in Osaka, as part of the city and prefecture’s joint plan to pursue one of the three casino resorts in the first phase of market liberalisation in Japan.
MGM Resorts is the parent of Macau operator MGM China Holdings Ltd.
In its Friday announcement, the Osaka authorities noted changes made to the metropolis’ draft integrated resort (IR) implementation policy.
They include some updates to its schedule for the request-for-proposal (RFP) process. Tthe local government has marked the deadline of the RFP submission for July; and plans to select the private-sector partner for the Osaka IR scheme, in September.
Osaka’s IR development plan will be submitted to the national government in April 2022. If Osaka were eventually approved to host an IR scheme, the project opening would likely take place “in the latter half” of 2020s.
The latest revision to Osaka’s IR implementation policy also includes some relaxations made on the requirements regarding space for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), and for hotel accommodation, with the selected IR operator permitted to make gradual expansion of these components.
At launch, the exhibition space of an Osaka IR should be larger than 20,000 square metres (215,278 sq feet). The Osaka authorities stipulate such type of facility should expand to more than 60,000 sq ms within 15 years of the project’s launch, and that eventually it should grow to larger than 100,000 square metres.
The IR’s hotel room space should, in aggregate be more than 100,000 square metres by the time of the Osaka IR project launches. Eventually, the Osaka IR project should house more than 3,000 hotel rooms, according to Osaka’s revised IR implementation policy.
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