Considerable Osaka commitment from MGM Resorts International


In the race to win one of Japan’s coming trio of integrated casino resort licenses and American gambling giant MGM Resorts International is reportedly set to propose building a $9.1 billion development in partnership with local financial services firm Orix Corporation.

Although most gambling is currently illegal in Japan, the coalition government of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe passed legislation in July of 2018 that will see the nation of some 126 million inhabitants license three integrated casino resorts featuring hotels, exhibition facilities and large gaming floors. To be in the race to host one of these Las Vegas-style schemes and candidate locales are first being obliged to select a foreign firm to operate their proposed venue in advance of submitting their completed license applications to a panel of federal selectors before the conclusion of an April deadline.

Sole contender:

According to a report from Asia Gaming Brief, MGM Resorts International was the only runner to submit an official bid as part of the city of Osaka’s effort to designate a preferred operating partner. The source detailed that this community of approximately 2.6 million inhabitants wants to be granted one of the 40-year licenses so as to be allowed to bring a giant gambling-friendly development to a 121-acre portion of the man-made Yumeshima Island.

Dissipating hopefuls:

Osaka had reportedly been expecting to receive bids from numerous other potential operating partners including the likes of Genting Singapore Limited, Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited and Wynn Resorts Limited. However, all of these other firms purportedly either decided to completely abandon Japan or focus their interest on other candidate communities such as Yokohama.

Protracted premiere:

Asia Gaming Brief reported that the price-tag for the Osaka proposition from MGM Resorts International is less than the $10 billion figure that had been widely predicted before the appearance of the coronavirus pandemic but not as low as many nay-sayers had feared. The Las Vegas-headquartered operator purportedly asserted other government-induced delays mean that its scheme, if selected, would now be looking to start operations between 2028 and 2030.

Imperative obligation:

The proposal from MGM Resorts International, which is scheduled to be officially unveiled tomorrow, reportedly includes a required $183 million commitment that is to be utilized by Osaka for a multitude of infrastructure improvements including an extension of the local subway line out to Yumeshima Island.

Peripheral involvement:

Finally, the source reported that MGM Resorts International is proposing to hold a 40% stake in any future integrated casino resort development for Osaka with an equal share being controlled by Orix Corporation, which has offices across the globe to offer clients a wide range of financial services including real estate financing, venture capital, commodities funds and securities brokering. The operator purportedly suggested that the remaining 20% interest in the projected venture would be shared out amongst a plethora of as yet unnamed local partners.