The central Government of Japan has given approval to an implementation agreement for the development of an integrated casino resort on Yumeshima Island that was presented by Osaka Prefecture, on one hand, and the MGM Resorts consortium, on the other hand. This has made it possible for a formal agreement to be inked by the end of September.
Tetsuo Saito, Japan’s Minister for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, announced the approval late last week, after the Prefecture of Osaka submitted a revised agreement on September 8th. The revised agreement delays the originally planned opening date by one year to 2030. Apart from this, it boosted the expected initial investment to a total of ¥1.27 trillion as a result of the constantly increasing prices for construction materials, hence the construction costs.
As mentioned above, with approval now secured, the Prefecture of Osaka and its preferred commercial integrated casino resort partner – a consortium formed by the US casino and gambling operator MGM Resorts and local firm Orix – could lay their signatures under the implementation deal by the end of the month. Once the agreement is signed, the integrated resort will feature 2,500 hotel rooms offered by three hotel brands, along with MICE space and tourism facilities situated on 730,000 square feet.
According to expectations, construction works of the main facility could start in spring 2025 depending on how the process unfolds.
Controversy Linked to Proposed Osaka Integrated Casino Project Continues
Some market experts have shared that, in their opinion, the project could help Osaka Prefecture become a popular and preferred destination that would attract both domestic and foreign customers. Market analysts believe that the development of an integrated casino resort in the area would have pretty much the effect that similar projects had in other countries, such as Singapore.
Although there have been many arguments in favor of the proposed integrated casino resort’s development, some groups of society are still not convinced of the positive impact that such a project would have on local society. For example, only a year ago, an anti-IR group called for a referendum on the issue, hoping to have the project rejected. Certain politicians and political groups have also opposed the integrated casino project due to various concerns, saying that the establishment of such a facility would be a major contributing factor to the local economy because the new venue would create new jobs and would bring fresh money flow as a result of the larger number of tourists expected to visit the Prefecture.
Despite the challenges on its way, the integrated casino resort of Osaka i now one step closer to realization than it has been so far, which is a great victory for its supporters. If the project turns out successful, it would be able to generate more money not only for the Prefecture but also for Japan’s economy as a whole, not to mention that it may also change the relationship the country has with the local gambling sector.