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Japan – Japan’s Prime Minister gives his approval for MGM’s casino on Osaka’s Yumeshima Island

By - 14 April 2023

The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, has now officially approved proposals by Osaka prefecture, MGM Resorts and its local partner ORIX to develop an integrated resort on Osaka’s Yumeshima Island.

Prime Minister Kishida said: “The Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has decided to certify Osaka’s area development plan. Osaka’s IR will contribute to the development of the Kansai region after the 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo and to the growth of Japan. It is expected that it will become a tourist base that spreads the charm of Japan to the world.”

Authorities in Osaka say the aim is to complete the project by 2029 with an initial outlay of ¥1.8tn ($13.5bn). It has also been reported that the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Tetsuo Saito, has also given his official approval to Osaka’s casino plans.

“It is an honour to be selected by the Government of Japan to develop a tourism project of this scale,” said MGM Resorts CEO & President Bill Hornbuckle. “We couldn’t be more excited to get started on the development of one of Japan’s first Integrated Resorts in the great City of Osaka, and we look forward to working with our partner ORIX and Osaka Prefecture/City to realize this long-held goal.”

Details of the proposed development in Osaka were unveiled last year as part of the licensing submission process and showcase MGM’s vision to bring a world-class resort experience to Osaka. The proposed development is designed to transform the region into one of the world’s top entertainment and hospitality destinations and to serve as a hub for tourism across Japan.

MGM and ORIX, together with Osaka Prefecture/City, submitted an Area Development Plan to the Government of Japan during the October 2021 to April 2022 application period.

MGM’s President of Global Gaming Development Brian Sandoval has previously said: “Osaka is an incredible city that is passionate about business, food, and having fun. MGM and our Japanese partners intend to deliver a Kansai-focused IR that will wow visitors from far and wide. We expect that the IR will attract both international visitors, as well as people living in the Kansai region and Japanese tourists from other parts of Japan. Regional IRs in the United States, including MGM’s properties in Detroit and Maryland, receive more millions upon millions of visitors every year.”

“We want to provide guests with a new IR destination experience that is uniquely Japanese. Japan is advanced in technology innovation. It is also known as the best in class in terms of hospitality, rich in arts, culture and food. We respect the spirit of “Omotenashi” and Japanese vibrant traditions. We have already learned so much from Japan that we have been able to export to other markets in which we operate,” he added.

Next up will be approval of Japan’s other planned casino in Nagasaki to be located in Sasebo City alongside Huis Ten Bosch theme park.

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