The Japan Tourism Agency – under the country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism – said on Friday it had approved the implementation plan to develop an integrated resort (IR) in Osaka, Japan’s first property involving a casino.
The authorities in the Japanese metropolis of Osaka had confirmed earlier this month that the planned timetable for opening an IR (pictured in an artist’s rendering) had been delayed by one year, and that the initial investment cost would rise by JPY190 billion (US$1.29 billion), to JPY1.27 trillion. A revised “Osaka IR District Development Plan” featuring these updates was submitted to the national government on September 8.
On Friday, the Japan Tourism Agency – one of the bodies coordinating the IR approval process at the national level – said it had approved the implementation plan to be signed between the Osaka authorities and the private-sector companies that will develop the casino resort in the metropolis. Once the two sides sign the implementation plan – known locally as the ‘implementation compact’ – a summary of the deal will be disclosed publicly by the Osaka prefecture, as required by Japan’s IR act.
The private-sector partners are U.S.-based casino operator MGM Resorts International and Japan’s Orix Corp, as well as smaller investors, in a consortium for development of MGM Osaka.
Bill Hornbuckle, chief executive and president of MGM Resorts, said earlier this month that he was supposed to travel to Japan on “September 29” and “sign the final two agreements” for the casino scheme: “an implementation agreement, and a lease”.
On September 8, an expert panel helping the Japan Tourism Agency to assess the Osaka IR District Development Plan at the national level had already issued a statement saying there was no change in that revised plan that “did not meet the requirement criteria” from the central authorities.
The expert assessment panel also said there was “no change large enough that required the panel to re-examine whether the plan meets the evaluation criteria”.
Osaka’s IR District Development Plan was approved in principle in April by the national authorities.
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”We committed to the government to provide a full business idea and plan for Phase 1b around 12 months after the casino opens, therefore, probably early 2025”
President of the Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in South Korea