Osaka drops plan to open casino resort by March 2027 due to pandemic

Japan Times -- Feb 11
Osaka officials have decided to scrap the city’s plan to open a casino resort by March 2027 under Japan’s liberalized gambling laws, due to the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.

In 2019, the city of Osaka and Osaka Prefecture set fiscal 2026 as their target for the plan, but this will not be mentioned in a soon-to-be adopted policy as a number of companies have fallen behind in their preparations for the project, according to the sources.

The decision comes after the Japanese government postponed plans to accept formal applications from municipalities vying to host so-called integrated resorts, which incorporate a large hotel, conference rooms and gambling areas. The application period, originally scheduled for January through July, is now slated to begin in October.

The government is planning to select up to three locations where integrated resorts will be permitted to open under legislation that cleared parliament in 2018 to legalize casino gambling in Japan.

- Japan Times