An attorney plans a lawsuit after anti-casino citizens in Osaka were told the city’s audit committee declined to probe the land lease deal for a gaming resort in that Japanese metropolis, according to a Tuesday report in Japanese media outlet Asahi Shimbun.
Five people – described as former members of Osaka city council – had argued it was illegal for the city to set aside JPY79 billion (about US$576 million at current exchange rates) for the cost of soil-improvement measures at the planned construction site of the integrated resort (IR) at Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay.
The citizens had claimed the land deal violated Japan’s local government finance act, which aims to restrict public spending that could be deemed excessive.
But the city audit committee decided by a majority not to support an examination of the validity of the land leasing arrangements.
Osaka has teamed with United States-based casino operator MGM Resorts International and Japan’s Orix Corp as its private-sector partners for a tilt at an IR. The initial investment from the private-sector partners is put at JPY1.08 trillion, according to previous statements.
MGM Resorts expects the national government to announce its decision in the autumn.
An anti-casino community group in Japan’s Osaka metropolis said on June 27 it had passed the 2-percent threshold of “effective” local-voter signatures necessary to seek a referendum on the issue.
Casino-supporting parties won all four national parliamentary seats up for contention in Osaka in Sunday’s election for Japan’s House of Councillors, according to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
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Chief commercial officer of testing and certification firm GLI