Osaka Prefecture has partnered with MGM Resorts International to build a casino resort in Japan. Don’t forget, Japan’s liberalized gambling laws have legalized real money gambling at casinos.
Furthermore, on Tuesday, Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura revealed the planned partnership between Osaka and MGM Resorts International. Not too many were surprised since MGM Resorts International was the only bidder for the Osaka project.
Meanwhile, the partnership between Osaka and MGM is to build a first-class facility that would improve tourism. MGM Resort International is a major stakeholder in the online casino market in other regions where online casinos are legal. The online casino industry nowadays has top hospitality and entertainment operators coming on board.
Details of Osaka and MGM Resorts International Partnership
Although the details of the Osaka and MGM Resorts partnership are still sketchy, some facts have emerged. According to reports, it appears that MGM Resort and Osaka are planning an initial investment plan of 1.08 trillion yen (US$9.7 billion). More so, the complex would be situated in Osaka Bay. And there are plans that the casino would launch in the late 2020s.
Also, Gov. Yoshimura seemed excited about the partnership during the conference meeting held on Tuesday. The governor added that the planned partnership aims to build the world’s best growth-oriented integrated resort. More so, Yoshimura also noted that the amount outlined for the Osaka resort is very ambitious and aggressive.
According to Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resort will contribute more than US$2.5 billion to the project. Also, the total contributions would be spread over three years, from 2024 to 2026. Hornbuckle is the CEO and President of MGM Resort.
In addition, the Osaka Resort would occupy 390 hectares of an artificial island in Yumeshima. Consequently, Yumeshima is located alongside Osaka Port. Not to mention, the Osaka casino resort is expected to attract more than 18 million domestic and foreign visitors annually. The total revenue expected from the Osaka Resort yearly is about 760 billion yen.
MGM Resorts Journey to Win the Osaka Integrated Resort Project
Before the MGM Resort and its consortium became the winners of the Osaka Integrated Resort project, three other companies were also in the race. However, the other three candidates slowly walked away, leaving the MGM Resort as the winner.
After much deliberating, Osaka had no choice but to declare MGM Resort the winner of the bid. During the announcement of MGM Resort as their official winner, Osaka’s representative added that they are the perfect candidate for the project.
However, it is reported that MGM Resort Integrated scores were weak. Osaka used five criteria to judge the presentation by each candidate:
- Responsible gaming
The MGM Resort project scored 788.5 over 1000 points. Also, reports showed that MGM resort scored just two-thirds of the possible maximum in each category. MGM Resort was reported to have scored the lowest in uniqueness with just 152.5 points.
About the MGM Resort International
MGM Resort International is one of the biggest entertainment and hospitality companies in the world. Besides, MGM has been around for more than 30 years. MGM Resort International was founded in 1986 by Kirk Kerkorian.
Interestingly, MGM Resort is listed on the New York Stock Exchange market (NYSE). Currently, the MGM Resort employs more than 70,000 persons. Not just that, MGM Resort International has several subsidiaries like BetMGM, MGM Growth Properties, etc. In 2019, the annual revenue of MGM Resort International was US$12.9 billion.
To date, MGM Resort International is topping the chart as one of the largest hospitality and entertainment companies in America.
The Cause for Delay in Choosing a Candidate to Osaka Integrated Resort
The choice of candidate for the Osaka Integrated Resort was delayed because of the pandemic. Because of the COVID, most bidders were skeptical about the project, claiming that many had lost revenues.
Despite the delay, it seemed that only the MGM Resort was the only serious candidate bidding for the Osaka Integrated Resort project. Other partners had shown interest, but they withdrew their applications as soon as the pandemic became severe.
Las Vegas Sands, Caesars Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts are the other notable casino operators that initially showed interest in the Osaka Integrated Resort project.
The Future of Japan’s Gambling Industry
For a long time, global casino operators have hoped to break into the Japanese market. Thankfully, with the liberalization of Japan’s gambling law, gambling at live casinos will commence soon. However, the Japanese government ought to consider online gambling to look at the pandemic and the gains it presents.
Finally, the Osaka Integrated Resort project would bring more tourist revenue to the Japanese government.