Osaka’s Integrated Casino Resort Development Costs Rise $1.3bn, Opening Delayed a Year

  • The property is now expected to open in the fall of 2030
  • Cost increases were primarily because of a rise in building material prices
  • MGM Resorts partnered with Orix Corporation on the project
  • Nagasaki was the only other bidder and is waiting to hear its fate
Construction workers
Osaka’s integrated resort opening is being pushed back a year to the fall of 2030. [Image:]

Reassessing the plans

The opening of Osaka’s integrated casino resort is delayed by a year, pushing the opening date to the fall of 2030 from the fall or winter of 2029.

largely because of the increasing costs of building materials

The Osaka Prefecture government announced the delay on Tuesday and also revealed that the total development cost will rise from about ¥1.08trn ($7.3bn) to ¥1.27trn ($8.7bn), largely because of the increasing costs of building materials. The reason for the grand opening delay is the long time it took the central Japanese government to approve Osaka’s integrated resort proposal.

A major project

MGM Resorts International partnered with local firm Orix Corporation to bring the Osaka resort to life. They will be splitting the increase in building costs down the middle. Each has a 40% stake in the project; about 20 other companies control the other 20%.

The revised plan still needs the seal of approval from the central government, after which the Osaka authorities would sign an official contract to start development. The hope is that this will happen in the coming weeks.

The integrated resort in Osaka will contain gambling areas, a large hotel, a shopping mall, a conference center, ferry terminal, and various hospitality and entertainment facilities.

The new resort will be built on an artificial island called Yumeshima in Osaka Bay. The project got the green light to proceed in April and is the only proposal to receive approval since the legalization of casinos back in 2018. The current estimate is that it will attract 14 million domestic visitors and six million international tourists every year while generating annual revenue of ¥520bn ($3.5bn).

Not much other interest

The central government in Japan made three integrated resort casino licenses available in the hope of boosting regional economies and tourism. The only other region to apply for a license was the Nagasaki Prefecture, which is still waiting to hear its fate after the government said it needed more time to consider it.

Other jurisdictions were considering submitting bids before deciding to hold off for now.

Casinos Austria International is the casino company that aims to be the key partner in a prospective Nagasaki project. Other jurisdictions were considering submitting bids before deciding to hold off for now.

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