The Yumeshima island has been approved for commercial use, which makes it a strong candidate to develop an integrated resort (IR).
Japan.- The Osaka City Planning Council agreed this week to change Yumeshima from industrial and semi-industrial to commercial. This is part of the city’s attempt to promote itself as an international tourist hub and develop an integrated resort (IR).
Yumeshima will host the World Expo 2025, and Japan intended to have IRs in place by that time. However, it is unlikely that it will happen as the casino industry still has a long way to go before Japan sees a casino open its doors.
The change in zoning will allow Yumeshima to build large scale facilities, such as integrated resorts. “We will guide reasonable land usage for the purpose of creating a new international tourism hub on the coastal area. It is easily accessible from the city and it is possible to secure a large amount of land,” the Council said.
Japan estimates that the development of Yumeshima will be worth around JPY 95.4 billion. The city will extend its Osaka Metro Central Line and will connect Yumeshima to the city.
Japan to publish IR plans in November
According to local media, Japan’s IR Basic Plan could finally arrive next November. The new plan would lay out further details on the requirements and processes to bid for an IR licence.
The government plans to release further regulations before the end of the year. Furthermore, the authorities may advance on the Casino Management Board’s set up, which could be ready by January.
Once the regulatory framework goes public, prefectures like Osaka and international operators will finally get to work on their bids.
Japan has also created the new International Tourism Department, to oversee the casino bidding process.
Director Hiroshi Tabata will lead 73 people in the new body. It will report to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Furthermore, two counsellors will organise the IR industry, and provide outreach and cooperation to international organisations.