Japan Osaka casino resort set for Grand Opening in 2030

Lea Hogg 1 month ago
Japan Osaka casino resort set for Grand Opening in 2030

The first integrated casino resort in Japan, the Osaka, has received full approval and commenced the construction phase. This project is led by US casino giant MGM Resorts International, in collaboration with Orix, a Japanese financial services firm.

Japan, a country known for its rich history and technological advancements, is now turning its attention to a new venture in the casino sector. In an effort to boost tourism and reinvigorate its economy, Japan has embarked on a journey to introduce Integrated Resorts (IRs), a combination of casinos, hotels, conference rooms, and entertainment facilities.

The joint venture received approval from authorities in April 2022, with an anticipated opening date yet to be determined. However, all parties involved aim to have the resort operational by 2030.

However, before gambling can be allowed on Japanese soil, significant changes to Japan’s strict gambling laws are required. Despite the popularity of online casinos with Japanese players, any amendments are unlikely to include the online casino law. The introduction of Integrated Resorts (IRs) is designed to attract a global audience, increase tourism, and stimulate economic growth. Legalizing these resorts has not been easy due to legislative debates, public scepticism, and concerns about social issues like gambling addiction.

The Osaka Casino Resort in Japan is set to face stiff competition in the Asian market. Key players include established integrated resorts in Singapore, such as Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. However, being the first of its kind in Japan, the Osaka Casino Resort has a unique advantage. It will cater to a domestic market that has been untapped until now, and its novelty could attract a significant number of international tourists as well.

Stiff competition from Asian market

While the competition in the Asian casino resort market is intense, the Osaka Casino Resort holds a distinctive position as Japan’s pioneer. Its success will hinge on its ability to leverage its first-mover advantage, deliver a world-class gaming experience, and uphold Japan’s commitment to high standards in the gaming industry

Despite these obstacles, proponents of the initiative argue that IRs could significantly contribute to economic revitalization, taking inspiration from successful models in Singapore and Macau. In 2018, Japan passed the IR Implementation Law, which paved the way for developing Integrated Resorts and marked a turning point in the country’s adoption of casino tourism as a key driver of economic recovery. The law established strict regulations for operating IRs and strongly emphasized measures to prevent gambling-related harms. Several cities in Japan have been competing to host Integrated Resorts since the law’s enactment. The selection process aims to identify the most promising locations for these profitable ventures.

Osaka has emerged as the leading candidate and secured an agreement to open its Integrated Resort by 2030. This move places the region at the forefront of Japan’s tourism and economic expansion strategy. With the local economy not in the best places and prices surging across the globe, the question of who would fund the project was stringent. After months of negotiations and projections, the sides reached an agreement. MGM Resorts will cover 40 percent of the cost, Orix Corp will handle the other 40 percent, and a consortium of smaller local companies will cover the rest of the 20 percent. Rising costs caused some setbacks in the project, forcing the team to agree on a new budget shortly after its beginning. To revive the Integrated Resort project, MGM has committed to investing $8.5 billion, $1.3 billion more than the estimated cost of ¥1.08 trillion ($7.2 billion). This significant increase highlights the project’s expanded financial scope.

The next critical step for Osaka IR is to obtain a licence from Japan’s central government. Achieving this milestone will put CEO Bill Hornbuckle and MGM’s Japanese collaborators on a clear path to launching the country’s first-ever Integrated Resort. The Osaka Integrated Resort (IR) is currently under construction on Yumeshima’s Artificial Island. This location was chosen for its potential to accommodate the large-scale development and attract tourists from around the world. As the project progresses, the island is being prepared to host what is expected to be a landmark achievement in Japan’s tourism industry.

The Osaka 2030 Casino Resort Plan represents a significant step forward for Japan’s tourism industry.

By embracing the potential of Integrated Resorts, Japan is positioning itself as a major player in the global casino tourism market. As the country prepares for the opening of its first Integrated Resort, the world watches with anticipation to see how this bold initiative will transform Japan’s tourism landscape. As Japan steps into this new era, the Osaka Casino Resort is not just a gamble; it’s a statement of intent, a testament to Japan’s innovative spirit, and a beacon for its future in the global gaming landscape.

————-Stop Press: the next SiGMA Eurasia Summit takes place in Dubai between 25 – 27 FebruaryThe next SiGMA Africa Summit takes place in Cape Town between 11-13 March The fourth edition of SiGMA Eurasia will once again be held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. Held between the 25 and 27 February 2024, the summit provides invaluable networking opportunities for industry professionals, gain exposure to the latest tech and innovations in the sector, meet key decision makers, and gain insight into new marketsSiGMA Africa event kicks off in Cape Town, South Africa on the 11 March. Building on the success of its inaugural edition in Nairobi, Kenya, in January 2023, SiGMA Group recognizes the need to foster collaboration and innovation within the industry.

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