Galaxy committed to Japan’s IR goals as Osaka progresses plans

Galaxy Entertainment Group has stressed its commitment to developing one of three integrated resorts set to be available in Japan, should the firm receive licence approval from a nominated location.

The move comes as Osaka unveils plans to proceed with its request for proposal process next month, proceeding ahead of national government who are yet to publish a finalised version of its basic policy. 

Representing the first stage of Japan’s casino liberalisation, plans state that Osaka authorities would make a submission for a casino resort in January 2021 with an eye on beginning construction work later that same year.

The city is thought to be targeting a completion date before it hosts the 2025 World Expo, with the six month event commencing in May 2025 at Yumeshima in Osaka Bay, the proposed site of its IR.

Completing its request for concept stage recently, Galaxy was joined by MGM Resorts International and Genting Singapore as the three entities that stuck with the process to the end.

However, it has been asserted that any organisation, and not just the three previously named, can partake in the RFP process. This comes after Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and Melco Resorts and Entertainment all ditched plans to proceed in Osaka.

Francis Lui, Galaxy’s vice chairman, responded to the latest development with the following statement: “Galaxy Entertainment Group remains fully supportive of the Japanese government’s goals to introduce a globally renowned IR and MICE industry to Japan.

“In support of this, we have been conducting a thorough evaluation of multiple locations, and have been an active and willing partner with many cities, prefectures and government agencies, in sharing information, ideas and our experience, to assist them in thoroughly evaluating the opportunities that IR’s can create for Japan. 

“To date, we have responded to eight cities and prefectures for requests for information or requests for concepts, including most recently in Osaka and we are now preparing for Yokohama. And we look forward to continuing with this process to ensure the best possible IR will be developed for Japan.  

“We are encouraged to see news this week of the Japanese government’s timeline relating to IR certification applications which will take place in the first half of 2021, signalling the beginning of the formal bidding process for selected sites, which is scheduled to take place in 2020.   

“With extensive experience in developing world-class IRs and considerable financial strength including a strong balance sheet, Galaxy is well positioned to assist in developing a uniquely Japanese IR experience, attracting in-bound travellers from around the world and arranging for tourists to visit locations throughout the country.”