Japan’s Osaka prefecture said on Tuesday that no fresh private-sector suitor had come forward as a result of the extension of its request-for-proposal (RFP) process concerning the metropolis’ tilt at having a casino resort, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
That means United States-based casino operator MGM Resorts International and its local partner Orix remain the only qualified consortium.
Osaka prefecture said last month that from March 19 until April 6 it would consider submissions from any additional private-sector entities interested in partnering the local government in its effort to host a casino complex, or integrated resort (IR) as they are known in that country.
At the time, the prefectural government also announced the finalised version of the local implementation policy for an IR scheme. It mentioned some relaxations 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 those components.
Selection of a private-sector partner for Osaka’s IR scheme is due in September of this year, according to the prefectural government’s timetable. Osaka expects to be asked to submit its IR development plan to Japan’s 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 metropolis has said.
Up to three casino resorts will be permitted in Japan to coincide with the opening up of the market.
The Japan Casino Regulatory Commission announced on Friday a draft version of its intended regulations for the industry, with public consultation due to run until May 9.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters