Asia Bulletin: Japan to build its first casino in western city of Osaka for $13.5bn

In addition to hotels, a conference centre, a shopping centre, a museum and a ferry port, the huge resort complex on Yumeshima will also feature a helicopter pad nearby for high rollers.

Casinos and other forms of private gambling were previously prohibited in Japan, but an integrated resort (IR) law passed in 2018 made an exception for casino games like poker or baccarat played in places the government had authorised to draw tourists.

Japan's 126 million wealthy residents and proximity to Asia's wealthy gamblers make it a valued market for casino owners, even though surveys revealed that many are concerned about addiction and violence.

The Osaka IR project has been led by American casino operator MGM Resorts International and local partner Orix Corp, with each owning a 40% stake in the business established to build and run the complex.

A local government document stated that MUFG Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp would provide JPY¥550bn in project financing for the resort,cassinos confiaveis with another 20 entities holding the remaining 20%.

The initiative, according to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, will help the Kansai region around Osaka and larger Japan's economy flourish after the World Expo 2025 event as the nation strives for a post-pandemic recovery in tourist spending.

According to the project document, the resort expects to generate JPY¥520bn in revenue annually, primarily from the gambling industry and anticipates drawing six million foreign tourists and 14 million domestic visitors.

MGM Resorts, Orix, and the city and prefecture of Osaka expressed their appreciation for the decision and their intent to collaborate on the project's development.


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