April 14, 2023 3 min read


Japan Picks Osaka to Host First Integrated Resort

Osaka will be the first of three prefectures to host an integrated resort in Japan, part of a long-anticipated government plan to resuscitate tourism

The news was confirmed early on Friday, with the government of Japan finally picking the first location to host the country’s inaugural integrated resort which will seek to boost tourism and generate an economic boon.

Osaka Wins in Expected Decision by Government

The first of the three resorts is set to open by 2029 and it will cost $13.5 billion to pull off. It will be built on Yumeshima, a man-made island in Osaka Bay, and come with a range of amenities, facilities, and venues. The integrated resort will have a dedicated Las Vegas-style resort casino as its central piece but it will feature so much more as well.

This new project will come along with hotels, conference rooms, shopping malls, a ferry terminal, and a range of other leisure and business additions. There will be dedicated helicopter pads to bring in and out well-heeled guests and customers. Overall, the first integrated resort, developed by MGM Resorts International and ORIX, a local company, is set to be a big success when it finally welcomes its first guests.

Once this happens, Japan hopes to see many of Asia’s richest gamblers flock to this new gambling Mecca. Each of the two companies developing the project owns a 40% stake in a dedicated company that they have set up to place an official bid with the government and realize the project. The other 20% of the stake is held by the local government.

As to the Japanese government, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida seems confident that the incoming integrated resort should contribute significantly to the economic growth of the Kansai area in Osaka and beyond. The resort is expected to generate more than 520 billion yen worth of revenue annually and bring in as many as six million international tourists and 14 million domestic visitors.

Japan Still Hesitant about Other Bidders

Of course, there have been some concerns about the future of the project. Some have objected to it arguing that there were serious environmental concerns with the reclamation of the island. Others still have objected to gambling on principle, arguing that gambling could bring more societal ills than it would benefits.

The entire process was plagued by setbacks as well – as the pandemic struck, companies willing to bid for the realization of integrated resorts dropped out of the race. By the April deadline in 2022, only two prefectures had completed an application process, with the other one being Nagasaki.

However, there has been no official confirmation whether Nagasaki will secure the rights to host an integrated resort as well. The government said on Friday that it needed more time to review the proposal submitted by the prefecture.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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