MGMs Osaka IR development to cost US$9 billion: report

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Osaka has long been favored to win one of Japans first IR licenses.

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Osakas sole IR candidate consortium, led by US gaming giant MGM Resorts and Japans ORIX, is planning an investment of JPY1 trillion (US$9.09 billion) and open as early as 2028, according to a report by the Nikkei.

The consortium is expected to submit its full proposal to Osaka city and prefecture on 20 July with the Nikkei reporting over the weekend that MGM and Osaka will also commit to spending an additional JPY20 billion (US$182 million) on infrastructure development costs as part of a project to extend Osakas subway to the IR site of Yumeshima.

Those combined costs would see the total spend by MGM and ORIX edge close to the US$10 billion mark long touted as the likely figure for any major metropolitan IR development project in Japan.

Osaka prefecture and city significantly revised their implementation policy in February of this year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and have now permitted a phased opening of an IR facility, including its MICE space and accommodation. Since these conditions are significantly different from the initial announcement, the Osaka IR Promotion Office decided to re-open recruitment from 19 March to 6 April 2021 to ensure fairness and allow additional operators to participate in the RFP. However, no other operator responded to the call and there remains only one group in the contest.

Osaka officials will examine the proposal before making a decision on whether to approve MGM and ORIX as their official operator partner.

The group will then submit an application to the central government before April 2022.

The central government intends to select a maximum of three locations as IR development sites upon examination of the certification application for a facility submitted by local governments and their operator partners.