The CEO of MGM Resorts Japan, Ed Bowers, says the company has no plans to withdraw from its bid to develop an integrated resort in Osaka, Japan, despite the company’s consortium partner admitting it is concerned over the suitability of the chosen location.
As previously reported by Inside Asian Gaming, the Basic Agreement signed recently between Osaka and the MGM Resorts-ORIX Corp consortium for the development of an IR contains an escape clause by which the operator can withdraw if market conditions are deemed unsatisfactory.
Among the conditions that could trigger the escape clause are failure of the tourism market to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, failure to maintain international competitiveness due to rules put in place by the Japan Casino Regulatory Commission or failure by authorities to address soil contamination concerns on the proposed development site of Yumeshima Island.
At an Osaka City Council committee meeting attended by MGM and ORIX this week, the operators were asked whether they had any real intention of triggering this clause following a request for open testimony by an LDP subgroup of the council.
In response, Bowers explained, “We have been working on this [project] for years, and just simply giving up is not something we are considering,
“We have already invested a great deal of money and personnel, and will continue to do so.”
ORIX Executive Officer Toyonori Takahashi offered a similar sentiment, however he also acknowledged that the matter might be taken out of their hands if Yumeshima was shown to be an unsuitable site.
“[Yumeshima] is already sinking,” he warned. “We are now conducting additional boring surveys. The next step is to figure out whether or not we can design a building that the island can withstand, based on the expert findings.
“We have no intention of giving up, but there may come a time in which it is unavoidable.”