MGM plans to site the project in Osaka. Aside from MGM, casino operators worldwide have been looking for an opportunity to site their casinos in Japan. However, the pandemic and other factors have caused a slow realization of the plan.
According to the report, although the MGM proposed new casino project has not been officially approved, it appears that officials in Osaka may welcome the development.
Facts Available So Far about the MGM New Casino in Japan
Although the news of the MGM proposed casino has come out in public, the project has not been officially disclosed to the general public. The proposed $9 billion casino project is expected to be cited in the island of Yumeshima. What’s more, Yumeshima is called “Dream Island”.
However, although the Osaka government has not revealed the consortium’s plan, it appears as if most government officials back the project. For instance, Governor of Osaka, Mr. Yoshimura, said he would be happy to receive the world and other visitors at Yumeshima when the pandemic is over during an interview about the proposed casino project.
Nevertheless, other details about the MGM $9 billion casino project in Osaka are scarce. Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of MGM Resorts, Bill Hornbuckle, revealed that the company and the Osaka officials have agreed on some new plans. He added that one of them was to cut down on the meeting and convention space of the proposed new casino. Bill Hornbuckle stated this at Bernstein’s investor’s conference held in June 2021.
According to Bill Hornbuckle, this would allow the company to focus on its core business which is casino gaming. As regards MGM’s agreement with Orix, the Japanese financial services company said both parties have equal shares. But Orix did not disclose what the share would be.
The Competition Heats Up
Although Japan legalized gambling at casinos in 2018, not much has been done since then. Various obstacles have slowed down the anticipated launching of casinos in Japan. Presently, there is heated competition amongst casino operators for licenses in cities like Osaka, Yokohama, Wakayama, and Nagasaki for integrated resort permits.
Osaka: In May 2019, MGM made their interest known regarding the Osaka casino resort license. However, since this announcement, it appears other companies have withdrawn their bids. In early April this year. The Osaka government made it known to the public that MGM was the only viable bidder.
Yokohama: In Yokohama, the race for the casino resort license appears to be fierce. Genting and Melco are currently bidding for the city’s license.
Nagasaki: The Nagasaki officials in February confirmed that more than 5 casino companies are bidding for their license.
Wakayama: On the other hand, it seems that the Wakayama government is faster regarding issuing casino resort licenses. Wayakama officials have awarded a license to Clairvest Group for a $4.3 billion casino project.
Details about the activities of other cities concerning the issuing of casino licenses are still sketchy.
Japanese’s Land-Based Casino Industry
Before 2018, the government ran land-based gambling activities. However, these gambling centers are run under the supervision of certain Japanese agencies. Meanwhile, since gambling was legalized in 2018, the Japan Casino Regulatory Commission is responsible for regulating the activities of land-based casinos. Most of the popular games that are available in Japan include:
With the legalization of land-based casinos in Japan, it means that gamblers will enjoy more gaming opportunities.
Obstacles Facing the Launch of Japanese Land-Based Casino Industry
One of the challenges stopping the launch of land-based casinos in Japan is the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic also slowed down the bidding process that started in 2019. Then a lot of casino operators showed interest in the Japanese market. Like the Osaka governor said, hopefully, as soon as the pandemic is over, it is likely that the land-based casino industry in Japan will kick off fully.
However, with Wakayama already issuing a license to Clairvest Group for a $4.3 billion casino project, the wait for a land-based casino in Japan may not be too long.
The Prospects of Gambling in Japan
No doubt the gambling industry in Japan has a good prospect. However, online gambling at casino websites can be legalized in Japan. It would also add more revenue to the government’s coffers.
With COVID stalling the commencement of the land-based casino industry in Japan, the online casino industry would have been a better alternative. Finally, it appears Japanese gamblers can’t wait for the launch of land-based casinos.