Osaka prefecture and city has announced its implementation policy draft, stipulating the conditions required of operators for an IR in Yumeshima and outlining plans to launch its Request for Proposal process before the end of the year.
The draft policy specifically mentioned June 2020 as the target date for Osaka to name its operator partner, with the prefecture and city hoping to open an integrated resort in time for the 2025 World Expo. However, operators have expressed concern that the construction period is too short and overlaps with construction for the Expo.
The national government also revealed this week that it won’t accept IR certification applications until January 2021, with the three Japan IR locations to be named later that year.
Asked about the timeline at a press conference on Thursday, Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura said, “There is no point in making strict conditions amidst uncertain factors if operators can’t make an offering.”
It is clear there may indeed be some flexibility in the schedule.
“No area has received certification from the government so no one can formally announce an exact date,” added Mayor Ichiro Matsui. He also expressed the view that a time range may be proposed by the operator. The prefecture and city, while aiming for a full opening by Spring 2025, are taking the stance of a partial opening of at least the hotel and international convention hall before the Expo.
The implementation policy requires that in addition to a casino, there is an international conventional hall with a capacity of 6,000 and an exhibition facility of over 100,000 square meters or more, and a hotel of a minimum 3,000 rooms.
Operators will be required to bear the cost of part of the infrastructure, namely extension of the Chuo line subway, at a cost of around JPY20.2 billion. Also included are “reinvestment obligations” to use the profits of the casino business for facility development, development of adjacent land and cooperation with local government policies.