Osaka opens public consultation on IR plans

Osaka hopes to open its IR by 2029.
Osaka hopes to open its IR by 2029.

Osaka Prefecture has announced the opening of the period for public remarks on the proposed development of an integrated resort in the city.

Japan.- The Osaka Prefecture has announced a series of online public hearings on its IR development plan. They’ll be held from December 23 to January 21.

The prefecture’s operator partner, the MGM-Orix consortium has proposed to invest JPY1tn (US$9.1bn) in the planned IR proposed for an artificial island, named Dream Island, in Osaka Bay.  According to the plan, the city will need to assume approximately JPY79bn (US$692m) for soil improvement measures, including site purification and soil liquefaction control measures.

As Focus Gaming News reported, the IR development will be backed by 20 major companies including Panasonic Corp., Suntory Holdings Ltd. and West Japan Railway Co. According to Osaka’s draft document, the casino venue could have an aggregate of 470 table games and 6,400 electronic gaming machines.

Osaka Prefecture is expected to submit its IR development plan to the national government in 2022. The target opening date for the IR has been pushed back to 2029.

Japan’s bicameral legislature plans to grant up to three integrated resorts licences. Cities and prefectures interested have until April 28 2022 to submit their final project proposals.

Japan’s current IR bids status

The Nagasaki Prefectural Government has asked Casinos Austria International Japan to provide the names of all companies involved in its proposal. Nagasaki chose Casinos Austria International Japan as its private operator IR partner in August, but doubts have been raised over funding for the project.

Public consultation on the development of the IR will be held in February, one month later than planned. The county council’s vote on the plan is now scheduled to take place in March.

In Wakayama, a member of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party has called for public hearing sessions on integrated resort plans to be postponed until residents can be provided with more information about the proposed development. The 14 public hearings on the proposed IR development have already been put back due to insufficient information on funding and the structure of the chosen consortium.

Meanwhile, a new contender has emerged for one of Japan’s three possible integrated resource licences. Nihon Keizai Shimbun news said that the city of Kuwana is interested in bidding. The mayor of Kuwana has shown interest in developing an integrated resort and has asked the prefecture to analyse the viability of bidding for one of the licences to be awarded.

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