MGM Resorts International and its Japanese partner Orix Corp are now saying that their proposed US$9-billion casino resort for Osaka, Japan, would not open before 2028, and possibly only by 2030.
On Tuesday, Osaka prefecture said it had received request-for-proposal (RFP) materials from MGM Resorts and Orix, according to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
The RFP materials also confirmed that around 20 firms from the surrounding Kansai region had agreed to take an equity stake in the consortium.
The RFP materials mentioned an investment budget of JPY1 trillion (nearly US$9.1 billion) and an initial opening to be at some point from 2028 at the earliest to 2030.
In commentary in June last year, a senior Osaka official had mentioned the metropolis was targeting to have such a venue open in the second half of 2027 at the earliest, or in 2028.
The MGM Resorts-Orix partnership was the only qualified consortium for Osaka’s RFP process regarding the city’s tilt at an integrated resort, or IR, as large-scale casino complexes with associated tourism facilities are known in Japan.
In September, Osaka prefecture is expected to approve the MGM-Orix consortium as the city’s private partner for the development of an IR.
It is currently expected that in April 2022 Osaka prefecture will submit its IR development plan to the national government.
Japanese communities wishing to host an IR must first find private-sector partners and then make a bid to the national government, seeking selection. Up to three IRs will be permitted in Japan in a first stage of casino legalisation.
According to the most up-to-date requirements by the Osaka authorities, at the launch, an Osaka IR must include an event space of more than 20,000 square metres (215,278 sq feet).
Within 15 years of opening, such an event facility would need to exceed 60,000 square metres, eventually expanding to 100,000 square metres.
For the Osaka IR’s hotel space, its room area at opening should be greater than 100,000 sq metres, according to the most up-to-date requirements by the local authorities. The property would have to eventually house more than 3,000 hotel rooms.
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