«Osaka lauded as site for first Japanese integrated casino resort

At first Osaka announced the plan of bringing an integrated casino resort and then, about three months later, we found out the reasons for believing that this project would turn Osaka into a gambling-focused place like Las Vegas. Our source is the man, who stands behind Melco Resorts And Entertainment Limited.

As we have learned from Bloomberg, Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, CEO and Chairman for the above-mentioned company, expects a permission to create a casino resort on the Yumeshima Island - a man-made piece of land in Osaka Bay. Or maybe he will be allowed to build his project in Umekita, located in Kansai.

Kansai region is not very far from Tokyo, just about several-hour drive away. This place embraces a great number of beautiful and exciting attractions including numerous Buddhist temples. Moreover, this place is a shopping destination for tourist around the world, especially for people from China.

This region is also a financial and political center for the island. A great number of headquarters are located there including Hitachi LTD and Sony Corporation. The Melco firm already operates properties of City Of Dreams Manila and Studio City Macau as well as venues of Altira Macau and City Of Dreams Macau. It competes against Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited, Crown Resorts Limited, and MGM Resorts International, for gaining one, two or even three casino licenses which are expected to be authorized by the government by 2019. Alongside with them we are watching a great number of foreign companies striving to get sites in Tokyo or around this city in order to participate in the market, which will allegedly be worth about $25 billion a year.

But not all the people are happy with the idea of creating an integrated casino resort. Some of them think that Tokyo is a perfect city without any integrated casino. Kansai region is considered to have enough entertainment already. It’s like creating an integrated casino in New York or London. Who will love that? Melco Resorts And Entertainment Ltd will never stop. One of the reasons for struggling for this dream is a price for land in the region of Osaka. It’s relatively cheaper than in any other regions of Japan. The company is eager to conquer hearts of people in Tokyo and Osaka with the integrated casino resort in Western style, which means a great number of conference spaces, hotels and shops. Of course, Tokyo would be a greater location for the integrated casino than Osaka, but commercial land prices in the capital city are much higher than those in Osaka. This factor does really dissuade any casino owners from building an integrated casino there, even if the resort in Tokyo would be much more profitable due to the great population of the city.

As we learned from Bloomberg this month, the municipalities were asked to team up with casino operators in order to discuss who will be the hosts of the expected integrated casino resorts. Since many casino operators are interested in participating in the host cities, a fierce competition began.

This competition looks like speed dating, because the casino owners are everywhere, struggling for the warm place under the sun.

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