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Japan – Osaka Mayor says COVID-19 has delayed potential IR launch until 2027

By - 5 June 2020

If the Japanese city of Osaka wins one of the three coveted Integrated Resort casino licences it won’t be ready to open it until at least 2027, maybe even 2028.
Officials in Osaka want to build a casino on the artificial island of Yumeshima in Osaka Bay.

The admittance came from Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui who blamed the coronavirus pandemic for the two year delay. The government had hoped to have a casino fully operational by start of the 2025 World Expo.

The pandemic delayed meetings between Osaka’s candidate consortium, MGM Resorts Japan and Orix.

Mayor Matsui said: “I have received a message from the operator asking for a short extension. The investment capacity of the operator has taken a blow, and we will consider this when we are determining an opening time. I can foresee an overall delay of between one and two years. We think the central government is considering extending the application period (for local governments).”

Both Genting Singapore and Galaxy Entertainment have pulled out of the race to and a casino IR licence in Osaka, leaving MGM Resorts and its local partner Orix in sole position if the Osaka Prefectural Government is awarded a licence.

Las Vegas Sands, Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Wynn Resorts have all previously left the Osaka race to focus on potential projects in Yokohama instead.
Galaxy and its partner Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer had recently completed a comprehensive Request for Concept (RFC) submission and business feasibility study in Osaka before opting to withdraw.

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