The government of Osaka in Japan plans to launch next year a process to select an operator regarding the city’s bid to host a casino resort. The likely move for a so-called integrated resort (IR) follows Osaka’s successful bid to host the World Expo 2025.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) in Paris announced on Friday that Osaka would host the World Expo 2025, after beating respective rival bids from Russia’s Yekaterinburg and Azerbaijan’s Baku. It is the second time the international fair will be held in the Japanese city.
World Expo events, which last up to six months, can put a spotlight on host cities, drawing visitors from home and abroad. The government of Osaka has earmarked Yumeshima island (pictured) – or “Dream Island” in English – to welcome the World Expo 2025.
The local government has also consistently voiced support for accommodating a casino resort on Yumeshima, as a way to boost tourism to the region. Up to three IRs will be permitted at yet-to-be determined locations across the country under a first wave of liberalisation.
Japanese brokerage Nomura had said that if Osaka were successful in its respective bids to hold the World Expo 2025 and to host one of Japan’s first casino resorts, that would have a “positive impact” on the economy of the Japanese city.
“This would likely stimulate redevelopment around Yumeshima, and benefit companies with real estate in the area and Osaka-based construction companies,” said the Nomura team. “We also believe that drawing more foreign visitors to the area would increase the stability and growth prospects for the many hotels already being developed in the area.”
Several major global gaming operators have reaffirmed their respective interest in developing a casino resort in Japan. A number of industry executives expect the first casino licences to be issued in around the year 2020, with the first resorts to open for operation in circa 2025.
According to Nomura, the “prevailing view” is that if casino resorts in Japan open around 2024 and 2025, “Osaka is viewed as a leading candidate”.
According to information gathered by GGRAsia, any company wishing to develop an IR in Yumeshima should make use of the infrastructure that will be developed for the World Expo 2025.
Osaka, which hosted the 1970 World Expo, pitched the theme of “Designing Future Society for Our Lives” for the World Expo, looking at sustainability and technology in the age of robotics and artificial intelligence.
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