Japan’s Osaka prefecture said on Friday that from now until April 6 it will consider submissions from any additional private-sector entities interested in partnering the metropolis (pictured) in its tilt at hosting a casino resort.
Osaka has targeted July this year as a deadline for any further responses by private entities to its request-for-proposal (RFP) process, according to information issued on Friday and collated by GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent.
The prefectural government also announced on Friday the finalised version of the local implementation policy for an integrated resort (IR) scheme, as large-scale tourism complex with casino, meeting facilities, shops and hotels are known in Japan.
According to GGRAsia’s Japan correspondent, the finalised policy announced on Friday is the same as the draft the Osaka government released on February 12. It therefore includes some relaxations on the requirements regarding space for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE), and for hotel accommodation, with the selected IR operator permitted to make gradual expansion of these components.
United States-based casino operator MGM Resorts International and its local partner Orix have been the sole qualified consortium so far in Osaka, as part of the city and prefecture’s joint plan. Up to three casino resorts will be allowed in Japan, under the current market-liberalisation framework.
Selection of a partner for the metropolis is due in September of this year, according to the latest timetable mentioned on Friday. Osaka will submit its IR development plan to Japan’s national government in April 2022.
If Osaka were eventually approved to host an IR scheme, the project opening would likely take place “in the latter half” of 2020s, according to Friday’s statement.
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