Japan on Friday approved a plan to develop the nation’s first casino in the western city of Osaka. The resort, estimated to cost $10.8 billion, is expected to open in 2029. This move is motivated by the need to promote domestic and foreign tourist spending. Japan casino
A 2018 integrated resort (IR) law made exceptions for casino games like poker or baccarat in legally recognized venues in an effort to draw visitors to Japan, where casinos and other private gambling were previously prohibited.
Japan is considered as a valued market by casino owners due to its 126 million wealthy residents and proximity to Asia’s wealthy gamblers despite the fact that many Japanese people are concerned about addiction and crime.
The Osaka IR project has been led by American casino operator MGM Resorts International (MGM.N) and local partner Orix Corp (8591.T), with each owning a 40% stake in the business established to administer the complex.
A local government document stated that MUFG Bank (8306.T) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp (8316.T) would provide 550 billion yen in project financing for the resort, with another 20 entities holding the remaining 20%.
As the nation strives for a post-pandemic resurgence in visitor spending, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday that the project would support the economic growth of the Kansai region surrounding Osaka and larger Japan after World Expo 2025.
According to the project paper, the resort expects to generate 520 billion yen in revenue annually, primarily from the gambling industry, and anticipates drawing 6 million foreign tourists and 14 million domestic visitors.
The project will be developed in collaboration by MGM Resorts, Orix, and the city and prefecture of Osaka, who all expressed their appreciation for the approval.
The pro-casino Japan Innovation Party retained the prefectural governor and city mayor positions in Osaka on Sunday, which led to the national government’s decision.
45% of respondents to a Mainichi newspaper poll of Osaka residents this month were in favor of the casino, 38% were opposed, and 17% were unsure, but women and the elderly were more inclined to be against it.
The coronavirus pandemic and a bribery case that resulted in the arrest of a prominent lawmaker previously hindered Japan’s casino aspirations. Major casino operators Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN.O), Caesars Entertainment Corp., and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS.N) withdrew from upcoming projects.
Only the prefectures of Osaka and Nagasaki in the southwest had made bids by the deadline of April 2022.
On Friday, the government declared that more time was needed to study the Nagasaki plan, which was developed by Casinos Austria International. It did not give an explanation.
($1 = 133.7400 yen)
The coronavirus pandemic and a bribery case that resulted in the arrest of a prominent lawmaker previously hindered Japan’s casino aspirations. Major casino operators Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN.O), Caesars Entertainment Corp., and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS.N) withdrew from upcoming projects. Japan casino