The Governor for Osaka Prefecture has reportedly announced that his office is to start the formal process that will help to determine the preferred operator for the proposed Osaka integrated casino resort from next month.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the revelation from Hirofumi Yoshimura (pictured) comes after the pool of likely operators for the envisioned Japanese venue narrowed to three runners encompassing Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited, MGM Resorts International and Genting Malaysia Berhad.
The 44-year-old governor reportedly also detailed that Osaka hopes to have decided on a winning candidate operator along with an official implementation policy by the end of the spring before submitting its final proposal to a government panel. The Honshu city is purportedly eager to be given permission to bring an anticipated $10 billion venue complete with exhibition facilities, hotels, retail outlets and a casino to a 121-acre plot of reclaimed land on Yumeshima Island.
Although most gambling is currently illegal in Japan, the coalition government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe passed legislation in July of last year that is to see the nation of some 126 million people offer up a trio of casino licenses. In order to be selected as a host for one of these coming Las Vegas-style facilities, which are locally known as integrated casino resorts, communities are being required to partner with an experienced foreign operator before submitting their final plans to federal selectors in Tokyo.
Inside Asian Gaming reported that up to seven firms had originally expressed an interest in bidding for the right to bring an integrated casino resort to Osaka while the Japanese city of almost 20 million inhabitants is facing stiff competition for one of the three licenses from other communities including the likes of Sasebo, Yokohama, Nagoya and Chiba.