Osaka prepares for casino opening despite slight delay
The city of Osaka, Japan, was abuzz with excitement in April when the government announced the granting of the country’s first casino operating license. However, expectations of a rapid opening were tempered when, in September, it was announced that the casino’s inauguration would be delayed.
Osaka Anticipates Arrival of First Casino, Postponed to Autumn 2030
In April, the Japanese government marked a historic turning point by granting a license to operate a casino in Osaka, located in the west of the country. The decision was welcomed by a Japanese-foreign consortium comprising US operator MGM (40%), local financial group Orix (40%) and several local partners. Osaka, a city that had long aspired to host a gaming establishment, was preparing to become a world-renowned integrated resort.
In September, however, the news shook the region. Osaka Prefecture has announced the postponement of the opening of the casino project, originally scheduled for autumn-winter 2029, to autumn 2030. This slight delay was attributed to an additional initial investment of 190 billion yen ($1.30 billion), according to information from the Kyodo news agency. The project’s main investors, US casino operator MGM Resorts International and local partner Orix Corp, are determined to make the complex a success despite the delay.
Osaka On the Road to Historic Transformation with the Opening of its First Casino
Osaka’s casino history began a quarter of a century ago, when the then governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, considered introducing a casino to his city in 1999. Since then, Japan has weighed up the pros and cons of the gaming industry. Public authorities fear problems of excessive gambling and potential scandals, which has slowed down the approval process.
What’s more, Osaka has been persistent in working with foreign players in this field, while other Japanese cities, including Tokyo, have been reluctant to follow suit. Tokyo, in particular, has been preoccupied with hosting the 2021 Olympic Games, which has delayed its bid for a casino.
Despite this delay, Osaka remains determined to realize its dream of becoming a major gaming hub in Asia. Should Tokyo finally decide to have its own casino, the budget would be less than half that of Osaka. This shows just how determined Osaka is to become a must-see destination for casino gamblers, even if it takes a little longer than expected.
Osaka: City's First Casino Takes Shape Despite Slight Delay
The announcement of Osaka’s first casino license in April was a historic moment for the city and for Japan as a whole. After a quarter of a century of thought and deliberation, Osaka was finally ready to realize its dream of becoming a major gaming hub in Asia. The city has attracted enthusiastic local and international investors, with a leading Japanese-foreign consortium comprising US operator MGM and local financial group Orix, as well as numerous local partners.
However, the news in September that the opening of the casino had been postponed tempered this enthusiasm somewhat. Originally scheduled for autumn-winter 2029, inauguration has been pushed back to autumn 2030 due to an additional initial investment of 190 billion yen. While this delay has disappointed many observers, it also demonstrates the investors’ firm commitment to making this project a lasting success.
The history of the casino in Osaka reflects the challenges Japan has faced in its attempt to penetrate the gaming industry. Public authorities have long been preoccupied with the potential problems of excessive gambling and scandals, slowing down the approval process. What’s more, Osaka has shown a remarkable willingness to work with foreign players, which has helped bring this project to fruition, whereas other Japanese cities have been reluctant to follow suit.
Osaka remains determined to make its dream a reality, and the budget allocated to this project far exceeds that of any other competitor, including Tokyo. This determination to become a leading destination for casino gaming enthusiasts is evident, even if it takes a little longer than expected.
Ultimately, the opening of Osaka’s first casino remains a historic moment in itself. It’s a project worth keeping a close eye on for casino gamers and investors the world over. While the delay may be seen as a temporary disappointment, there’s no doubt that Osaka is determined to create a unique and memorable gaming experience for everyone who visits in the future.
It’s a milestone for the city and for Japan as a whole, and will continue to attract international attention as it develops.