Japan Expected to Approve Osaka for Country’s First Casino-Resort

  • Approval has not been granted to Osaka’s plans yet, but is expected
  • Japan’s prime minister will be at a meeting about the proposal as early as Friday
  • Another integrated resort build request, in Nagasaki, is expected to be delayed
Japan is expected to grant approval for the country’s first-ever casino-resort, which will be built in Osaka. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

The Japanese government is readying to approve a proposal to construct the nation’s first casino-resort with a build targeted for 2029.

warming to the idea as the country is backing off of travel restrictions

The plan, submitted by Osaka Prefecture, will see the casino land right in Osaka, Japan’s third-most populous city. Policymakers are finally warming to the idea as the country is backing off of travel restrictions and safety protocols that were instituted during the early days of the global pandemic.

The plan was supposed to be approved last year, but was delayed due to concerns about liquefaction and soil contamination.

The casino-resort will be an integrated resort, or IR, which features a massive hotel, gambling floor, and conference rooms. It will sit on the 39,000-acre artificial island of Yumeshima in Osaka Bay, roughly 20 minutes from the center of Osaka, and will be run under a partnership of MGM Resorts International and Japan’s Orix Group.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and other important ministers will be on hand at a meeting that could happen as early as Friday and are expected to approve the idea. The property is expected to open between fall and winter 2029 and will attract an estimated 20m annual visitors and ¥1.14 trillion ($8.55bn) in economic stimulus. 

Japan passed a law that allowed the creation of a maximum of three IRs in 2018. Nagasaki Prefecture also submitted a request to build an IR, but that decision is expected to be postponed. 

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