MGM to build a resort ‘of great pride’ after finalising Osaka IR certification


MGM Resorts alongside its Orix Corporation joint venture partner has inked an agreement with Japan’s Osaka prefecture and city regarding the development of an integrated resort within the region.

This regards the implementation of a specified integrated resort facilities area development plan for Yumeshima, Osaka, and marks the finalisation of the certification process

The casino and entertainment operator has long been the front runner regarding such a development, despite competition once coming in the form of Melco, Las Vegas Sands, Genting Singapore, Galaxy Entertainment Group and Wynn Resorts in gaining the green-light.

Osaka has long since stressed a need to develop a Japanese-style IR to advance tourism across the country, in addition to promoting the region to the rest of the country. 

In a 2021 review document, the prefecture identified a trifecta of overarching ambitions. These were the formation of a world-class all-in-one MICE hub, strengthening its ability to attract visitors from home and abroad and forming a gateway to sightseeing in the country.

Regarding these ambitions, MGM and Orix have stressed a desire to contribute to the sustainable growth and development of tourism and the economy Osaka, the wider Kansai region and the country as a whole.

Earlier in the year, officials approved a plan to build the country’s first casino, the gross floor area of which is limited to three per cent or less, with the ¥1.8tn ($13.5bn) resort in the western city of Osaka thought to have targeted an official opening in 2029.

“This is a significant moment for our company as we officially close the certification process and begin to focus on executing our vision, in partnership with Orix, to build a world-class integrated resort in Osaka,” said Bill Hornbuckle, President and CEO of MGM.

“We remain passionately committed to this project and look forward to bringing Japan and Osaka best-in-class gaming, entertainment, dining and retail experiences. 

“Our vision is to bring MGM’s ‘wow’ DNA from Las Vegas to Osaka and build a resort that will be a source of great pride in the community.”

Japan had previously banned casinos and other forms of private gambling, but the resort will be the first casino property built since a 2018 integrated resort law that permits the government to green-light up to three IRs nationwide.