MGM Resorts appears to be the last man standing to develop an integrated resort in Osaka after the Osaka Prefectural Government announced on Friday that the US casino operator and its local partner Orix were the only consortium to apply to submit a bid.
It had previously been reported that three companies remained in the race to become Osaka’s IR partner, with Galaxy Entertainment Group and Genting Singapore also said to be in the running following the recent withdrawal of Las Vegas Sands, Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Wynn Resorts. The latter three stated at the time their plan to focus on Yokohama instead.
However, with Osaka’s deadline for applying for the Request for Proposal stage passing this week, the prefecture revealed during a press conference on Friday that it had only received one application with MGM now in prime position to win one of three IR licenses expected to be granted by the national government in 2021.
On 5:30pm Japan time on Friday afternoon, Genting Singapore issued a statement in which it stated “after careful consideration of the opinions of many shareholders, we regret that we will not continue our participation in the Osaka IR Project going forward”. Genting did not provide a specific reason for their withdrawal.
It will instead join LVS, Melco and Wynn in focusing on Yokohama.
Genting Singapore’s decision comes less than two weeks after it had received shareholder approval to develop an integrated resort in Japan “on such terms and conditions as the Directors deem fit” and to allow the Directors authorization to “do all such things and execute all documents as they may consider necessary or expedient to give effect to the Proposed Bid and the Company’s investment in the Japan IR project.”
The company had earlier stated it wanted shareholder approval “to submit a Proposed Bid with respect to any one prefecture or city with an investment amount not exceeding US$10 billion.”
On Friday, Genting Singapore said, “This is a tough decision for us, and it’s unfortunate after the many exchanges we have had with everyone in Osaka.
“In the future, Genting Singapore will focus on participating in the Yokohama IR request for concept (RFC), which is currently underway. We will do our utmost to provide an attractive proposal including MICE and a variety of leisure facilities to make it a must-visit destination.”