MGM Resorts reveals plans for $9 billion casino in Japan

MGM Resorts International formally proposed building a $9 billion casino resort in Osaka, reinvigorating its push to open Japan’s first casino gambling facility after pandemic-related delays.

Global casino operators have been looking for opportunities since Japan legalized casinos in 2018, but the process has moved slowly and some companies have dropped their bids.

Osaka, the core of Japan’s second most-populous region after the Tokyo area, has been among the most active in pushing casino plans. The city has offered Yumeshima, or “dream island,” a man-made patch in Osaka Bay, for a casino-centered resort.

Polls show a majority of Japanese oppose casino gambling. Advocates of the idea tend to call the facilities integrated resorts and say that casinos are only a small part of them.

Other companies have ended their pursuit of a casino in Japan after delays in the licensing process. Las Vegas Sands Corp. , formerly led by the late Sheldon Adelson, said in May 2020 that it dropped its proposal for Yokohama, south of Tokyo, over concerns about the license lasting only 10 years. The company said the decision wasn’t related to the pandemic. Sands has longer-term licenses for its casinos in Macau and Singapore.

- Wall Street Journal