One of the United States’ largest casino companies formally submitted a bid to build Japan’s first casino.
According to a Reuters report, MGM Resorts International partnered with Orix Corp., a Japanese financial services company, to submit a bid for the casino in Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city. Orix’s filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed the proposal.
MGM plans on spending $9.08 billion to construct the property. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the city’s governor says the resort could open in the second half of the 2020’s. Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura also said that MGM was the only company planning to pursue a casino license in the city.
City officials decided to offer up public land for MGM to build on. If the casino is built as planned, it will be on a man-made patch of land in Osaka Bay called Yumeshima and known more commonly as “dream island.”
Osaka is the third-largest city in the country, but is the second-largest city seeking to build a casino within its borders. Yokohama is the second-largest city and the largest with the possibility of housing a casino. Given Yokohama’s proximity to the Tokyo, the current capital city will not be in search of a Las Vegas-style casino.
If the current mayor of Yokohama is defeated in her reelection campaign this fall, city officials will likely cancel any plans of a casino. Nagasaki and Wakayama are the other two cities in the running.
At the start of the week, Japan’s Integrated Resorts Implementation Act, which legalized casino gambling inside the country as long as it was being run by a licensed provider, was codified into law. On the same date that the IRIA became law, regulations surrounding the new industry were also implemented.
It allows companies interested in building projects to move forward, submit plans and begin to allocate resources to potential Japanese casinos. In October, those companies can begin applying for a license.
Outside of MGM, the demand for a Japanese casino is a bit murky. Both Caesars Entertainment Las Vegas Sands Corp. bailed on proposals for an integrated resort. With MGM announcing its intentions, there are a limited number of companies that could spend similar cash to expand into the country.