Japan chooses Osaka Prefecture to build a hotel complex with integrated casino

It’s official: as part of a government plan to boost tourism in the Japanese archipelago, Osaka will be the first of the three major prefectures to host an integrated casino resort in Japan. The news was confirmed on the morning of Friday, April 14. From now on, all attention will be focused on Yumeshima Island, which has been designated as the site of the upcoming construction.

Casino in Japan: Osaka Prefecture gets government’s favor

The first of three major Japanese resorts will be located on the artificial island of Yumeshima in Osaka Bay. Developed by MGM Resorts International and ORIX, a local company, it is expected to open by 2029 and the total cost of the project is estimated at 13.5 billion dollars.

Numerous hotel rooms and suites, stores and restaurants will be built on the site, but it is a casino inspired by those in Las Vegas that will be the centerpiece of the complex. In addition to the hotels and casino, the mega-structure will have conference rooms, shopping centers, a ferry terminal and various entertainment centers. In addition, helipads will also be provided to accommodate the most affluent guests who travel by helicopter.

Japan hopes to see the richest celebrities, businessmen and tycoons from all over Asia flock to its new “gaming mecca.” MGM Resorts International and ORIX, which each have a 40 percent stake in the future resort, will be backed by the local government, which has a 20 percent stake in the resort.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida seems convinced that the future jewel of Osaka Bay will contribute significantly to the region’s economic growth. The mega-structure is estimated to generate more than $4 billion in revenue annually, and attract some 6 million international tourists (for 14 million national visitors).

A construction project that raised many doubts and criticisms

It goes without saying that the project as a whole has raised many concerns. For example, some people opposed it, arguing that the reclamation of the island would cause a real environmental drama. Others vetoed the project on principle, claiming that the gambling are responsible for many ills in society.

Finally, the bidding process has also suffered setbacks. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, companies wishing to bid on the construction project simply had to withdraw their bids. So much so that only two bidders came through the process: Osaka and Nagasaki Prefectures. The latter is still in a state of indecision, as the government has stated that it needs more time to consider its proposal.

Kayleigh Williams