The ambitious 2025 deadline being targeted by Osaka officials for opening an integrated resort has been described as impossible amid widespread suggestions that the establishment of Japan’s Casino Control Commission will be delayed.
While formation of Japan’s national regulatory body has long been touted for June of this year, multiple figures expressed their belief during the opening day of the Japan Gaming Congress that the milestone could in fact be pushed back as late as February.
Such a possibility, which would also delay the selection process for host cities back until at least late 2020, has only added to the difficulty faced by Osaka’s city and prefectural leaders in achieving their long-stated goal of developing an IR before the 2025 World Expo, with Morgan Stanley analyst Praveen Choudhary declaring, “Osaka will not open its casino before the World Expo.
“It is impossible to open before 2025,” Choudhary said in Tokyo on Thursday.
“The reason is not that Osaka isn’t doing everything it can, but there are several regulatory processes that need to be signed before they can even start, so time is very much against them.”
Among those seeming to back Choudhary’s stance is none other than Las Vegas Sands Managing Director of Global Development George Tanasijevich, whose company is one of a handful of international IR operators targeting an Osaka bid.
“I would recommend to anyone wanting to open before the 2025 expo to realise that time is already short,” Tanasijevich said on Thursday, referencing the 39 months of development it took to launch Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands.
“That’s why we have put plans in place for multiple scenarios because you have to ask whether we can open by 2025. I understand the comments made (by Choudhary and other JgC speakers) about the challenges in that schedule.”