The mayor for Osaka, Ichiro Matsui (pictured), has reportedly announced that he has received proposals from seven different entities hoping to eventually win the right to operate the giant city’s envisioned integrated casino resort.
According to a recent report, Matsui made the revelation during his regular Thursday press briefing while additionally disclosing that the septuplet embraced five ‘top’ overseas firms that are thought to include Hong Kong-headquartered Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited alongside American counterpart MGM Resorts International.
July saw Japanese legislators ratify the Integrated Resort Implementation Bill, which has paved the way for the licensing of a trio of large integrated casino resorts by as early as the end of next year. In order to be selected as the host for one of these facilities, disparate cities are being required to team up with private-sector operating partners before submitting their finished joint proposals to Tokyo.
Osaka is a city of over twelve million people and has reportedly long envisioned utilizing 121 acres of reclaimed land on Yumeshima Island as the site for its hoped-for Las Vegas-style integrated casino resort. It launched the month-long request-for-concept (RFC) portion of this process on April 24 and had asked potential operating parties to include a number of core specifications for their planned area development such as the size and scale of its hotel, convention and exhibition facilities.
The potential to run an integrated casino resort on a man-made island in Osaka Bay is known to have aroused potential interest from a plethora of international operators including the likes of Wynn Resorts Limited, Genting Malaysia Berhad, Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited and Las Vegas Sands Corporation. However, according to the report, it remains unclear as to whether any of these aforementioned firms had taken part in Osaka’s initial application process, which is now due to move on to the more intense request-for-proposal (RFP) stage.
GGRAsia reported that the first of these three new integrated casino resorts for Japan is now expected to open sometime in 2025 after three to five years of construction. It moreover cited Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited, as detailing that any such big-city facility could likely feature an eventual final price tag of over $10 billion.