The authorities in the Osaka conurbation (pictured) in Japan have publicly named five of the seven entities that are participating in Osaka’s casino resort request-for-concept (RFC) phase that began in late April.
Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd – which had previously identified itself as an Osaka suitor – was not on the list of disclosed names.
Two of the seven entities involved in the RFC did not want to be identified, said on Tuesday the Osaka IR promotion bureau, according to information coordinated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
The publicly-named firms were: Genting Singapore Ltd; Las Vegas Sands Corp; Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd; MGM Resorts International; and Wynn Resorts Ltd.
At the recent Japan IR Expo – an event held in Osaka from May 15 to 16 to discuss the country’s nascent casino industry – Galaxy Entertainment had reportedly been identified as interested in Osaka. Ted Chan Ying Tat, chief operating officer of Galaxy Entertainment Japan, had also confirmed such interest to GGRAsia in an interview on the sidelines of the recent Japan Gaming Congress in Tokyo.
The Osaka IR promotion bureau, jointly run by the Osaka prefectural and city authorities, stated on Tuesday that participation by casino operators and others in Osaka’s RFC phase would not in itself be a qualifying phase for entry to the directly-competitive request-for-proposal (RFP) stage. Nor will participation in Osaka’s RFC provide any kind of points or credit with the local authorities there regarding the eventual RFP, it was stated.
Operator selection via Osaka’s RFP phase will be dependent on the terms of the Japanese government’s yet-to-be-announced basic policy on so-called integrated resorts, or “IRs”, stated the Osaka IR promotion bureau.
A maximum of three IRs will be allowed in the first phase of Japan’s liberalisation of such business.
The Osaka IR promotion bureau also mentioned in its Tuesday announcement that from June 3 until June 28 it would be having talks with RFC participants. The expected due date for the full RFC submission was August. From August to October, the promotion bureau would hold further talks with the RFC participants regarding their respective submissions.
The Osaka authorities have said they would like to complete an Osaka IR – assuming the metropolis is chosen as a site by the national government – to coincide with the World Expo 2025 to be held in the city.
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"There’s a huge amount of possibilities out there and in the case of Macau, it seems that some of these issues should be considered or we may lose the epithet of gambling capital of the world"
Macau-based lawyer and senior partner at law firm Rato, Ling, Lei and Cortés