A consortium involving U.S.-based casino operator MGM Resorts International and Japanese financial services group Orix Corp has confirmed to GGRAsia it will take part in a request-for-proposal (RFP) process that is part of efforts by the Japanese prefecture and city of Osaka to have a casino resort there.
In an emailed reply to us, a spokesperson from MGM Resorts Japan LLC said the consortium would be submitting a proposal in Osaka, but that the “details of the [consortium’s] concept” could not be shared due to the “confidentiality agreement we have with the city and prefecture of Osaka”.
The Osaka authorities announced on November 21 plans to move ahead next month with a RFP process. The schedule put forward mentions a desire to choose a private-sector partner for such a project “around June 2020”.
The local authorities also confirmed that an area of 49 hectares (121 acres) in Yumeshima – an artificial island (pictured) offshore from the downtown area – was the selected site for an Osaka tilt at a casino resort, or integrated resort (IR) as these schemes are known in Japan. Osaka is in the populous Kansai region of Japan’s largest island, Honshu.
“MGM and Orix – along with [other] companies that have strong bases in Kansai and Osaka forming the consortium – will create a strong partnership and realise an authentically-Osaka/Kansai IR that will disseminate the appeal of Osaka and Kansai to the world,” the MGM Resorts Japan representative told GGRAsia.
“The IR will offer authentic Kansai/Osaka/Japanese experiences to foreign tourists. We will help promote and further revitalise the Japanese tourism industry by making the Osaka IR the entry point to tourism to Japan,” the person added.
Japanese communities wishing to host a casino resort must first find private-sector partners and then make a bid to the national government, seeking selection.
The Osaka authorities announced also on Thursday the names of the private-sector firms that had stuck with its request-for-concept (RFC) process until the end. Aside from the MGM-Orix partnership, the other two groups were: the Japan unit of Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd; and Genting Singapore Ltd, a unit of Malaysian-based Genting group.
According to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism – in a proposal disclosed last week – the national government would not start accepting for consideration local authorities’ proposals for integrated resorts until January 2021. The proposed closing date for such submissions would be July 30, 2021.
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