MGM Resorts has reaffirmed its commitment to pursuing an integrated resort in Osaka following Las Vegas Sands’ shock announcement that it was turning its focus from Osaka to Tokyo and Yokohama instead.
In a statement issued within hours of the LVS news breaking, MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren said, “MGM Resorts remains deeply committed to pursuing an integrated resort in Osaka, Japan.
“We announced our ‘Osaka First’ strategy and have not wavered from that plan. We have always had confidence in our position, as what we will bring to Osaka is something only MGM Resorts can deliver.
“We will bring world class entertainment, exciting cultural events, convention expertise and premium dining and retail experiences that will have broad appeal both nationally and internationally. We have extensive experience in developing and operating large scale integrated resorts across multiple regions.
“MGM Resorts will develop a truly unique destination that will generate significant economic activity for the region and increase employment opportunities while delivering an attractive return for all stakeholders.
“We are also excited about our partnership with Orix, a highly respected Japanese company with a strong presence in Osaka, as we jointly pursue this venture. Together, we are working to submit our response to the ‘request for concept’ and look forward to the next steps in the process.”
Melco Resorts has also hinted at its own pursuit of an IR in Yokohama after its recent sponsorship of J1 League football team Yokohama F-Marinos, suggesting that MGM’s two biggest competitors in Osaka are now looking east.
It was revealed this week that Yokohama mayor Fumiko Hayashi is set to formally announce the city’s intention to bid for one of three IR licenses.