Osaka prefecture/city has announced that seven operator groups have registered for the Request for Concept as part of Osaka’s IR bid.
The operators to have officially registered their interest include MGM Resorts International, which recently announced a partnership with Orix, as well as Wynn Resorts, Genting Singapore, Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands. Two other groups have asked for their names to be withheld, however it has been suggested that the unnamed companies are Galaxy Entertainment Group and Caesars Entertainment, both of which exhibited at last month’s Japan IR Expo at Intex Osaka.
Osaka prefecture/city has set the submission deadline for concepts for August and will discuss viability with individual operators up until October. The goal is to prompt specific operator plans.
The publication of the country’s Fundamental Policy has been moved to the fall, after the upper house elections, and this has had a knock-on effect for operator recruitment. Nevertheless, Osaka has stated it remains committed to opening an IR in 2024 – before the 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo.
The Request for Concept has so far been unique to Osaka and is not mentioned in the IR Development Act, nor is it a requirement for operators. However, it seems the pool has now been narrowed down to these seven.
MGM, considered a leading contender for Osaka, has continued to make its presence felt with MGM Japan CEO Ed Bowers indicating this week that he would prioritize Kansai companies for the provision of food and daily essentials.