Osaka Continues To Be a Battleground For Operators

Since the approval of the Integrated Resort bill in the Upper House of Japan’s Diet, the casino operators from all around the world started sucking up to the officials of this country who will be responsible for leading the casino project. One of the cities where one IR is planned is the city of Osaka – an 8.8 million giant with a huge potential when it comes to gambling.


Therefore, Osaka became one of the key points for winning over and there is a ferocious battle going among the operators. It is no wonder that everyone wants to have the honor of building and IR since Japan is predicted to become one of the biggest casino markets in the world. Many of the casino operators are actually willing to risk a lot and put a lot on the line in order to take the front row when the ceremony of picking up the operator takes place.

Some of the attempts in sucking up happened in July when there was a traditional summer festival in Osaka. Melco was the main sponsor of the fireworks that happened during the fest and it was magnificent. However, other operators did not miss out on the opportunity to be there and help with the festival. For example, MGM was responsible for bringing the Blue Man Group and hosting a great boat party.

However, Melco and MGM are not the only casino operators that are currently competing for the open position of the potential Osaka casino operator with a license. In fact, some of the other names that compete are also Las Vegas Sands, Genting Group, Caesars Entertainment, Galaxy Entertainment, and Wynn Resorts. All of them are possible candidates who might become the owners of the license once the lawmakers from Japan start voting on this issue. Ichiro Matsui, the governor of Osaka met with 11 different companies that are into the casino industry. In fact, they altogether met 119 since May 2017.

Another way Melco tried to take a step closer to Osaka was when they donated a total of $450,000 for the victims of the earthquake that happened last June. Their representative in this city, Ako Shirogawa even went on to downplay the donation by stating that it was just a gift for the festival.

It goes without saying that the lucky winner who gets to build an IR in Osaka would definitely have huge benefits from it. Morgan Stanley, Osaka is the place that could generate up to $4 billion annually just in gambling revenue. This is exactly why MGM and Sands made promises such as building a $10 billion casino in this place, should they get the license. On the other hand, there are those who did not promise such things. For example, Lawrence Ho from Melco stated that he preferred not to constrain their dreams with things such as price tags.

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