Osaka, Japan –Osaka has taken out the opening date for the Osaka IR in Yumeshia Island from its official documents. The scheduled date was already pushed back several times, and the government of Osaka decided not to specify the time of full-scale opening in consideration of business partners affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The prefecture was initially hoping for a full opening before the 2025 World Expo, but due to the ongoing global pandemic, it had to be pushed back. A new timeline sees a temporary opening in the latter half of the 2020s, but the current schedule left it blank.
According to MGM Resorts, one of the potential partners for the Osaka IR, the prefectures RFP process is still unknown, especially with the setbacks to the national government’s IR timeline.
Bill Hornbuckle, MGM’s president and CEO remains cautious about pursuing an IR license in Japan, especially with the losess brought about by the pandemic. He hopes to submit an RFP with ORIX, MGM’s partner in the IR process, sometime this summer. Although they have not provided official requirmenets yet, Hornbuckle says the company is ready.
MGM Resorts has not been in Japan’s marketplace for a long time, but regardless they’re still “a believer in Japan,” according to Hornbuckle.
“We haven’t had our people on the ground there for a better part of nine months, so it’s going to take time to rebound. But we have the intent and I believe the government still has the same intent to move forward,” he said.