Osaka: casino resort project suspended due to Covid-19

Osaka has halted development of its IR plans.
Osaka has halted development of its IR plans.

Osaka city was expected to develop its integrated resort project this year but the current situation has halted all plans until further notice.

Japan.- Osaka prefecture has confirmed to local press that it has suspended the process for developing a casino complex in the city due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said: “Under the coronavirus situation, the process related to the IR has been suspended from the time when previously the prefecture and city announced the postponement of the RFP [request-for-proposal] submission deadline, on June 23.”

He added: “The prefecture and city together with MGM Resorts International have maintained its positive, forward-looking stances on Osaka IR.”

As has already been reported, MGM Resorts partnered with Japanese financial services group Orix Corp to develop a bid for the IR complex.

According to analysts, casino liberalisation in Japan has been halted not only by the Covid-19 pandemic but also because of the national government’s delay in issuing its basic policy on IRs.

Yokohama prefecture has already announced it will postpone its IR project until further notice while it waits for the national government’s directions to draw up its local implementation policy.

At the moment, legislation says it will be permitted to open a maximum of three casino resorts in Japan and that local governments interested in hosting a resort must choose a private-sector partner then apply to the national government to have one.

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