The association fronted by MGM Resorts and ORIX is expected to invest JPY1trn – $9.09bn – in Osaka in order to guarantee its success in the pursuit for one of three Japanese casino licenses. 

With the aim of opening in 2028, MGM hopes the investment will see the company secure the license, despite being the only candidate in Osaka’s IR race – with Genting Singapore, Galaxy Entertainment, Las Vegas Sands, Melco Resorts & Entertainment and Wynn Resorts all previously pulling out.

MGM’s president of global gaming development, Brian Sandoval, said: “Osaka is an incredible city that is passionate about business, food, and having fun. MGM and our Japanese partners intend to deliver a Kansai-focused IR that will wow visitors from far and wide. 

“We expect that the IR will attract both international visitors, as well as people living in the Kansai region and Japanese tourists from other parts of Japan. Regional IRs in the United States, including MGM’s properties in Detroit and Maryland, receive millions upon millions of visitors every year.”

Submitting its formal proposal on July 20, the group plans to spend $182m on extending Osaka’s subway to the location of the casino in Yumeshima.

Sandoval added: “We want to provide guests with a new IR destination experience that is uniquely Japanese. Japan is advanced in technology innovation. It is also known as the best in class in terms of hospitality, rich in arts, culture and food. We respect the spirit of “Omotenashi” and Japanese vibrant traditions. We have already learned so much from Japan that we have been able to export to other markets in which we operate,”