MGM Resorts Expresses Confidence in Japan’s Market Potential

MGM Resorts Expresses Confidence in Japan’s Market Potential July 13, 2023 July 13, 2023 Carolyn Dutton
 Industry July 13, 2023 by Carolyn Dutton

New rendering of proposed MGM Resorts OsakaSummary:

  • Japan’s market is large enough to generate a reasonable return for MGM
  • MGM plans to open its Osaka integrated resort in 2030
  • President Bowers is confident they will achieve greater heights with their IR investment in Japan

Japan’s large market will provide a “reasonable return” to MGM Resorts’ investment in the country, according to Ed Bowers, the casino operator’s President of Global Development. He was referring to the company’s integrated resort (IR) project in Osaka which was approved by Japan’s central government in April. Bowers described the development as a “high investment” but he is confident it will all be worth it.

Bowers Confirms 2030 Osaka IR Opening Date

Bowers attended the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia event in Macau where he spoke of a new milestone MGM Resorts has achieved in Japan in recent months.

Japanese national authorities gave the green light to the casino operator’s US$10 billion IR project which will be built on the man-made Yumeshima Island in Osaka.

MGM’s Japan unit, MGM Resorts Japan LLC, for which Bowers also serves as President and CEO, is primarily involved in the project and will own 40 percent of the development. Its partner Orix Group, a Japanese diversified financial services group, will also have a 40 percent share, with the remaining 20 percent to be split between other investors.

Speaking during a conference panel on the first day of the gaming expo, Bowers said the next milestone would involve the finalization of agreements and design which would then be followed by the commencement of construction.

He added that it would take around six to seven years for the project to be completed, coinciding with a previous statement by MGM Resorts President and Chief Executive Bill Hornbuckle that the integrated resort would launch most probably in 2030.

Challenges Inevitable But Osaka IR Should Generate Reasonable Return

Success doesn’t come without challenges, with Bowers acknowledging potential stumbling blocks along the way. One of the biggest challenges for the company relates to the recruitment and training of a significant number of staff and employees, which Bowers predicts to be between 10,000 and 15,000. Gaming regulation will also be a major factor since the Japanese government is opening a “new industry”.

Nevertheless, Bowers expressed his confidence in the Osaka casino complex, saying it would generate a “reasonable return” for MGM, as Japan is a sufficiently large and attractive market. Furthermore, Osaka is also a great location for the project with the city council giving their support, given its close proximity to airports and the huge number of foreign travellers to the city, including those from China and South Korea. Bowers said these factors will help boost revenue for the IR.

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world