Osaka’s bid to win one of the three Japanese casino licenses to be issued by next year were handed a huge boost on Friday with the city selected to host the 2025 World Expo at a Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) ballot in Paris.
The southwestern port city will now host the event from 3 May to 3 November 2025, with around 28 million visitors expected to attend – boosting the economy by around US$18 billion. It also adds even greater strength to Osaka’s IR bid.
Already considered a leading candidate to be granted a casino license, it is hoped that the city’s IR consortium partner would help cover some of the costs of construction on the Yumeshima Island site where both the expo and the IR would be located. It has also been suggested that the chosen consortium would pay for an extension to Osaka’s metro train line to the island.
In a recent note, brokerage Nomura said, “A win for both the World Expo bid and the casino license would be expected to boost investment returns and have a positive impact on Osaka’s economy.
“This would likely stimulate redevelopment around Yumeshima and benefit companies with real estate in the area and Osaka-based construction companies. We also believe that drawing more foreign visitors to the area would increase the stability and growth prospects for the many hotels already being developed in the area.”
Osaka’s World Expo bid was based around the theme “Designing Future Society for our Lives” with the aim of boosting global efforts towards sustainability.
The Japanese city beat out competing bids from Ekaterinburg in Russia and the Azerbaijani capital of Baku.