The newly-installed boss for American casino operator MGM Resorts International has reportedly revealed that his company will hold a minority stake in the gambling-friendly development it is working to bring to the Japanese city of Osaka.

According to a report from GGRAsia, Bill Hornbuckle (pictured) was officially appointed to serve as the latest President and Chief Executive Officer for the Las Vegas-headquartered operator on Wednesday and made the admission via a subsequent discussion concerning the firm’s second-quarter financial results.

Principal partnership:

MGM Resorts International inked a deal with Japanese financial services firm Orix Corporation in March of last year in hopes of being able to realize a Las Vegas-style integrated casino resort for a 121-plot of reclaimed land on Osaka’s Yumeshima Island. The source detailed that this consortium was the sole potential runner to participate in the initial request-for-concept (RFC) chapter of the city’s application process but is still being required to go through the remaining phases of the selection race including its upcoming request-for-proposal (RFP) stage.

Future factors:

Hornbuckle reportedly proclaimed that MGM Resorts International is destined to hold a ‘40% to 45% stake’ in the planned Honshu development but refused to elaborate further other than to assert that this interest would eventually be ‘relative to the overall investment and the risk-reward’ premium associated with realizing such a project for Japan’s this largest city.

Coronavirus considerations:

Additionally, Osaka recently extended the deadline for the RFP stage of its selection process by a further six months owing to the coronavirus pandemic, which now means that the eventual winner may not be known until sometime next year. Hornbuckle purportedly proclaimed that his firm is now only interested in bringing an integrated casino resort to Japan if such an investment is ‘prudent’ and is guaranteed ‘to pay the kind of returns it needs to pay.’

Hornbuckle reportedly stated…

There is a long way to go. We like that we are not fully ‘all-in’ on this investment. We like the fact there is probably going to be a delay in the casino licensing process and a re-opening of some of the conversations that will hopefully make this a better investment for anybody interested in it, most notably us.”