News about the move arrive shortly after the Las Vegas gaming and hospitality giant’s CEO, Jim Murren, told Bloomberg during his trip to Japan last week that his company would focus all its attention on being selected as the preferred developer of a MICE property in Osaka.
Japanese financial services group ORIX Group announced at a Friday briefing that it would have an equity in a consortium with MGM that would bid for one of three gaming licenses that will be available as part of the first phase of casino gambling liberalization in Japan.
The amount of equity both ORIX and MGM would take is still unknown.
While MGM Resorts International has previously indicated that it wanted to be a majority owner in a Japanese integrated resort development, it seemed during its partner’s Friday briefing that they might have agreed to take even stakes in the IR consortium. It also became known that Osaka corporations will too participate in the consortium.
MGM Chairman and CEO Jim Murren announced an “Osaka First” policy at the beginning of this year with regards to an IR bid for the city in 2024. At a press conference in Tokyo last week he doubled down on that bid, stating: “We want to build IR in Yumeshima, Osaka. We want to work with local business to build an IR unique to Japan so that the world will know what this country has to offer.”
MGM Resorts Japan CEO, Ed Bowers, confirmed that his company has been “working with ORIX to create Japan’s first integrated resort in Osaka.”