Osaka votes against allowing IR referendum

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

Osaka’s city council has voted against the possibility of allowing a referendum on the development of an integrated resort in the city.

Japan.- Authorities in Osaka have finally refused to call for a public referendum on whether or not to allow proposals for an integrated resort in the city. The request for a referendum was made by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), but 58 of the 83-seat council voted against the draft ordinance. 

Osaka City Council and Osaka Prefecture are now due to vote on the prefecture’s draft District Development Plan, which includes an integrated resort, at their regular meetings which will run until late March.

Osaka’s draft plan to open a casino resort in the metropolis has set a target opening date of fall or winter 2029. The Osaka government plans to submit its proposal to the national government in April.

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.

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