Osaka local government has started the process of selecting an integrated resort operator. This puts Osaka city ahead of other Japanese cities competing for the first three integrated resorts licenses.
Osaka Governor, Hirofumi Yoshimura announced in November that the region would vet gaming operators starting this December. The region will, however, continue accepting applications until April next year. Then in the second quarter of 2020, the winning bidder will be declared. The operator vying for Osaka integrated resort include MGM Resorts International, Galaxy Entertainment Group and Genting Singapore.
The city of Osaka will host the World Expo starting in April 2025, due to the tourism opportunity provided by the conference. Authority in the region wanted the integrated resort to be ready by that time. However, operators such as MGM has expressed concern, citing that the timeline is tight given that construction will not commence until 2021.
It is not yet clear whether the Osaka casino resort will be ready before the World Expo. However, the region is not tight on dates, and the only obligation an operator is required is to see a fully operational integrated resort in the first quarter of 2017.
According to Casino.org, Osaka authorities have revealed the criteria that will be used in awarding points with the maximum score being 1,000. The operator’s ability to create top meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions (MICE) business, and attract tourists from other parts of Japan will also increase their chances of winning the bid.