Seven Casino Operators Submit ‘RFC’ For Osaka Integrated Resort
After a lot of waiting and debating, things are slowly beginning to take shape as the Osaka government has confirmed that seven casino operators have submitted their request for concept (RFC) to outline their plans to develop an integrated resort in Osaka, Japan.
Osaka authorities had earlier announced that the final date for submitting the RFC was May 24 and seven casino operators have so far responded. The names of the seven operators were not disclosed but reports suggest that five out of the seven operators are top international casino operators.
The Osaka government will review these seven RFC’s from August to October and the government will discuss the pros and cons of each proposal before making a decision on how they would like to proceed. Out of all the Japanese prefectures expressing interest in developing an integrated resort, Osaka has been the most vocal and aggressive.
Even before the central government released its basic policy on casino regulations, Osaka decided to go ahead and launch its preliminary RFC rounds in April 2019. The Japanese government is initially looking to issue three casino licenses for integrated resorts to be developed in major cities.
Osaka is keen to have one of these multi-billion dollar casino resorts as it would significantly boost tourist numbers, create employment opportunities and bring in a lot of revenue in the form of gaming taxes to the Osaka government.
International Operators Who Are Interested
While Osaka has not confirmed which international operators have sent in an RFC, we can take an educated guess based on the foreign operators who showed keen interest in an Osaka integrated resort during the Japan IR Expo which took place in May.
The foreign casino operators who are interested in the Osaka integrated resort are Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd; Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd; MGM Resorts International; Genting Singapore Ltd and Wynn Resorts Ltd. Four of these foreign operators already have casino resorts in Macau and are keen on expanding their Asian presence.
Melco Resorts chairman Lawrence Ho has stated that he expects the Osaka government to set a minimum price tag of $10 billion to get approval to develop an integrated resort. Osaka authorities are keen to have their casino resort up and running in time for the World Expo 2025 but gaming analysts think that timeframe is too optimistic and it will take much longer.