Osaka City Council in Japan has given its approval for the local government to apply to the national authorities for the right to host an integrated resort (IR) in that community. The decision was made on Tuesday, at the final plenary meeting of the current session of the council.
Members from the Osaka Restoration and Komeito parties were amongst those that voted in favour of the prefecture’s “IR District Development Plan”, according to the information collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent. Those two groupings hold in aggregate 58 seats in the 83-seat chamber.
The Liberal Democratic Party – the main party holding power at national level and which has advocated casino liberalisation – saw local members voting against the Osaka plan. They voiced concerns over additional costs for ground investigation work at Yumeshima, the artificial island where the Osaka IR is to be located, within Osaka Bay (pictured).
Recent discussion revealed a possible need for fresh work to stabilise and clean up the land prior to construction of the casino project, with the likely additional cost of JPY79 billion (US$638.1 million) to be paid by the Osaka authorities.
Osaka’s prefectural assembly had last week voted in favour of the prefecture’s “IR District Development Plan”.
The consortium for an Osaka gaming resort tilt is led by United States-based casino operator MGM Resorts International and Japan’s Orix Corp. The resort complex would – according to previous statements – require an initial investment of JPY1.08 trillion (US$9.1 billion), with a target date of 2029 for opening it.
On February 16, the governments respectively of Japan’s Osaka prefecture and Osaka city reached what they termed a ‘Basic Agreement’ with the MGM-Orix consortium on an IR.
April 28 is the deadline for local governments to make a submission to the national authorities on a tilt for a casino resort. Up to three such facilities will be permitted across the country, under the liberalisation plan. The other contenders currently are Wakayama and Nagasaki.
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