The estimated initial cost to the authorities in Osaka, Japan, for work to counter the risk of liquefaction to the land where an integrated resort (IR) with casino is to stand, has been reduced by 37.8 percent, to JPY25.5 billion (US$172.5 million). The previous estimate was JPY41.0 billion.
The basis for the change is a reduction in the land area to be treated, to 21 hectares (51.9 acres) – relating to the land immediately below the structures to be built – compared to 38 hectares previously to have been subject to such countermeasures.
Another factor is a change in the land-improvement method, from a sand compaction pile system, to a cement solidification one. That is according to the conclusions of a meeting of experts convened on Tuesday by the Osaka authorities, as collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
The total cost to Osaka city and prefecture of all remediation work for the casino resort site at Yumeshima (pictured in a file photo), an artificial island in Osaka Bay – including fixing soft ground, removal of underground obstacles, and dealing with soil contamination – has previously been forecast at JPY78.8 billion.
Osaka’s private-sector partners on the IR project are led by U.S. casino operator MGM Resorts International and Japan’s Orix Corp.
Earlier this month, Bill Hornbuckle, chief executive and president of MGM Resorts, mentioned at an investment conference that the gross floor area of MGM Osaka would be as much as 25 percent smaller than previously anticipated, though he didn’t specify a reason. It was also not clear if that reduction in gross floor area related to the ultimate scale of the IR, should an expansion occur later.
MGM Osaka – described by MGM Resorts as a US$10-billion scheme – is currently scheduled to open in 2030, a year later than the Osaka authorities had previously hoped.
Mr Hornbuckle mentioned in his remarks to the investment event, that he expected piling work to start in spring 2024.
It was recently reported that were a 6-hectare plot at Yumeshima that is earmarked for future expansion of the IR actually to be used – along with a further 14 hectares currently for car parks and landscaping, but that could also be utilised for facilities expansion – then Osaka metropolis might need to use JPY25.7 billion of public money for land improvement, additional to that to be spent on the initial site.
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”We committed to the government to provide a full business idea and plan for Phase 1b around 12 months after the casino opens, therefore, probably early 2025”
President of the Mohegan Inspire Entertainment Resort in South Korea