In Japan, casino operator Hard Rock International has reportedly followed rivals Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited and MGM Resorts International in becoming an official sponsor of the bid to bring World Expo 2025 to the city of Osaka.

According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief, Osaka is hoping to top competing propositions from the cities of Paris, Baku and Yekaterinburg in November to be selected as the site for the quinquennial event. Its bid proposes holding the prestigious exhibition in a new facility due to be constructed on a 173-acre portion of the man-made Yumeshima Island in Osaka Bay. The plan calls for this facility to be subsequently repurposed in order to host one of the nation’s coming integrated casino resorts complete with hotels, galleries, shopping arcades and convention facilities.

Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, reportedly declared that it has had a presence in Osaka for 25 years and that most of the area’s over 19 million inhabitants ‘grew up patronizing the Hard Rock Cafe in Honmachi and at Universal Studios Japan’.

“As it is our company’s culture of being a supportive corporate citizen in cities and countries in which we do business, it is natural and right that Hard Rock International gives its endorsement and support to Osaka’s bid to host World Expo 2025 in conjunction with the integrated casino resort plans for the development vision for Yumeshima Island,” the Orlando-based operator reportedly told Asia Gaming Brief.

Asia Gaming Brief additionally reported that Hard Rock International is hoping to beat rivals such as Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corporation in winning the right to operate the projected Osaka integrated casino resort should the city obtain a license. However, Japanese legislators are still purportedly engaged in the process of formulating specific rules and guidelines for the planned Western-style casino projects with no final host city decisions expected until at least the summer.

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