Murren said the company was focusing its “energies” to help develop consortium partners and programming ahead of submitting a request for proposal from authorities to establish a property.
“We just recently opened up an office in Osaka. We’ve committed now to the mayor and to the governor of Osaka,” he also commented.
Murren said on the conference call that MGM Resorts has a timeline of events it expects to unfold. “Our guess is that an operator will be selected by Osaka by early 2020. The next step for Osaka or any other jurisdiction is to go to the central government,” the CEO said.
“We think Osaka will be one of the three concessions that will likely be granted, but we know the central government has to select Osaka and its operator. That probably happens maybe 12, 18 months after Osaka itself picks its operator,” said Murren. “Osaka’s goal is to have an IR opened by 2025. That’s when the World Expo takes place in the city.”
Murren expects MGM Resorts to have to vie with other bidders to operate a casino resort in the industrial city that is at the heart of the second-biggest urban area in Japan.
“It will be highly competitive. But I think the cards are stacked in the favour of those who are prepared, who have been working hard, who will have the best programme, best strategy, the best understanding of the country, of the prefecture. And I like – a lot – MGM’s chances. I don’t think there’s any company in the world better positioned to win in Japan, and we intend to do that,” said the executive.
Asian casino entrepreneur Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, chairman of Melco Resorts and Entertainment, has mentioned Osaka as a front runner with Japan’s central government when it comes to hosting a casino, and an interesting target for his firm’s bid.
Source: GMB / GGR Asia