The city council in the Japanese metropolis of Osaka (pictured), a front-runner to host that country’s first integrated resort (IR) with casino, held on Friday a vote on a resolution to proceed with the IR policy and Osaka’s IR District Development Plan, an administrative element toward establishment of the project. That is according to a council document.
The formal resolution was the idea of Osaka Innovation, the leading political grouping on the council, to make clear which factions of the city council’s elected representatives support the policy, and which oppose it.
Representatives of Osaka Innovation, Komeito, and a main bloc of the local Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) voted in favour. Another portion of the local LDP, and the Japanese Communist Party locally, voted against.
In the current council structure, which comprises 81 seats, Osaka Innovation has 46, Komeito has 18, the main LDP bloc has 11, an alternative LDP block has four, and the Communist Party has two seats.
According to information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent, the main LDP bloc changed from being anti- an Osaka IR, to being in favour, in the aftermath of a local election on April 9.
At national level, LDP-led coalition governments have supported casino liberalisation through two changes of prime minister subsequent to the resignation of the policy’s initiator, the late Shinzo Abe.
Osaka’s IR District Development Plan was approved in principle in April by the national authorities, with just under 66 percent of the available assessment points.
The city and prefecture hope to open a casino resort in partnership with United States-based gaming operator MGM Resorts International, and Japan’s Orix Corp, in 2029. MGM Resorts has described the scheme as a “US$10 billion” project.
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