The Japanese government is ready to give its full approval to a plan by Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka to launch Japan’s first casino resort in 2029.
According to local media reports, government sources have said that the approval of the integrated resort (IR) will follow the latest easing of travel restrictions.
Those same sources have said that a task force meeting is scheduled to be held by the central government as soon as Friday, during which Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and relevant ministers are expected to endorse the Osaka IR plan.
The Osaka prefectural and city governments are targeting the launch of the facility on the man-made island of Yumeshima in Osaka Bay between the autumn and winter of 2029.
It is anticipated that the resort, which is a joint venture between the US-based MGM Resorts International and Japan’s Orix, will draw approximately 20 million visitors each year and generate yearly economic benefits of ¥1.14 trillion (€7.7 billion) for the western Japan region centered on the prefecture.
According to sources, while Nagasaki Prefecture has submitted a proposal to host an IR, the task force is expected to delay any decision as it needs additional time to scrutinize the specifics of its plan.
In 2018, Japan enacted a law that permitted the establishment of up to three Integrated Resorts (IRs). However, the proposal to boost the economy with the help of casinos was met with resistance from the public, primarily because of fears regarding the negatives impacts of gambling.