Prefecture Assembly in Osaka Shows Support for MGM IR Bid

MGM Resorts Japan’s plan for an integrated resort (IR) in Osaka gained traction after lawmakers in the prefecture approved a development plan.

Osaka IR Project Takes a Step Forward

On Thursday, lawmakers discussed the IR project in Osaka during a prefectural assembly. The project received broad support from members of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito Party, according to GGR Asia. Overall, from the 84 total members, 75 supported the IR initiative and approved an IR District Development plan.

However, this doesn’t mean that the planned project can just start right away. The IR bid would now seek the approval of the Osaka City Council. During its regular season plenary meeting set for March 29, the Council may discuss the IR project. If the IR bid for Osaka passes the Council vote, the proposal will then head to the national government. The deadline to submit the IR bid with the national government is April 28, 2022. Besides Osaka, Japan legalized a total of three IR bids. The other two are located in Nagasaki and Wakayama.

MGM Resorts’ project in collaboration with ORIX in Osaka is expected to have a price tag of JPY 1.08 trillion ($9.1 billion). If all goes well and the project receives a green light from lawmakers, the resort is expected to open its doors for visitors in 2029.

Besides the latest progress, last month, MGM Resorts Japan revealed that it has signed a “Basic Agreement for the Development of Areas for Specified Complex Tourist Facilities.” Moreover, the company collaborated with the prefecture and the city in Osaka to create a development plan for a specific complex tourist facility that will be located in Osaka / Yumeshima area.

The Resort Is Expected to Boost Tourism

The IR bid in Osaka will undoubtedly help boost tourism in the region. Additionally, once approved, the construction phase will create temporary workplaces and once the IR is completed, there will be permanent workplaces available. However, additional details are yet to be confirmed by MGM, given that the project advances further in the coming months.

The big project is planned to offer more than 2,000 hotel rooms, a casino floor, shopping venues, dining outlets, convention facilities and other amenities. Further details regarding the multi-billion dollar project are yet to be confirmed.

Although all of this sounds well, there have been concerns about whether Yumeshima Island is a suitable location for the new IR. In fact, only last week, ORIX and MGM Resorts representatives met with Osaka City Council to discuss that issue. Experts will now have to determine if the island can withstand the resort structure and if so, to find a way how to build it.