When the idea to build integrated resorts (IRs) in Japan was brought to the public, many believed that the country would see its first IR as soon as 2024. Osaka was one of the main places that were considered for an IR, and many hoped that the city would be able to pull it off and complete it by 2024.
One of the reasons for that was that Osaka was also chosen to host World Expo 2025, and having an IR at that time would be perfect.
However, as soon as the Japanese government started working on this project, things started to rear their ugly head.
Apart from things such as scandals with corrupt politicians who were related to the IR license selection, there were many other factors that negatively impacted the decision. Like icing on the cake, the virus affected the government’s plans even further.
After initially postponing the period for accepting requests for proposals, Osaka officials also had to postpone the official date planned for building an IR.
First, it was postponed to 2026. However, the recent virus-related events resulted in the country postponing the ultimate deadline to 2027. This is, of course, and estimated timeline.
The initial expectation by Osaka’s officials was to complete the RFP process in April 2020. However, they made a different decision and extended the RFP period for three more months due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Although the government is still looking at things very optimistically, believing one IR could be completed by 2026, the current health situation says otherwise.
RFP Is Not the Only Postponed Thing
Request for proposals is not the only thing that has been delayed regarding the IRs in Japan. Namely, the project requires private-sector partners who would also participate in it.
They haven’t been chosen yet, and the process of choosing them will be pushed back too. The government of Osaka was expected to make the first decision in June, but they will now have to push it back even further, and gain at least an additional three months for everything.
Osaka is undeniably an ideal place for creating an IR. There’s a huge artificial island that is mainly made for the World Expo 2025.
It seems like a great spot for building an IR, and it was originally intended to be given to the authorities by the fall this year.
However, given the situation, that will be postponed as well, and the area would be handed over in spring 2022. This could be one of the main factors to affect the casino development process and delay it further.
Even if Osaka does its best to get the ball rolling, the Japanese government still has a lot to do. Namely, the officials of the country have been dealing with a scandal related to IRs, and that’s currently a lot to process for them. It could result in further delays regarding the casino development process in the Country of the Rising Sun.
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