June 5, 2019 3 min read


Japan’s IR Bidder Names Revealed, Deadline Could Be Missed

  • Six names revealed for upcoming IR project
  • The RFC is the first phase of development and will last until June 28
  • Consultancy firm says Osaka officials need to speed up the process

Six brands have been introduced to the public as part of the initial phase of the Integrated Resort project. Much more needs to be done, and sooner, lest the project misses the 2025 deadline.

Osaka Names Six Possible Casino Brands for IR Project

Osaka conurbation authorities have revealed the names of six brands interested in building their casino properties on the territory of the future Integrated Resort (IR) now expected to open doors in time for the World Expo in 2025.

Officials presented the names of six companies offering their projects as part of the request-for-concept (RFC) stage of the IR development. The brand names to have applied and been announced publicly include:

  • Galaxy Entertainment Group LTD
  • Genting Singapore Ltd
  • Las Vegas Sands Corp
  • Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd
  • MGM Resorts International
  • Wynn Resorts Ltd

It’s interesting to see that Caesars Entertainment is not on the list of applicants, even though the company has been making somewhat strong overtures towards the Integrated Resort.

Similarly, the inclusion of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd doesn’t surprise anyone, after the company recently acquired Australian operator Crown Resort in a bid to boost its financial clout in the future resort.

MGM CEO Jim Murren described the IR project as an unprecedented investment offering the best ROI in the industry historically. Galaxy Entertainment was among the first companies to be identified as a potential bidder at a recent business expo focusing on Asia.

A Concept, Not a Permit

To clear up any confusion, the Osaka IR promotion bureau explained that the names of the companies weren’t final. The aforementioned companies all were approved to participate in the RFC process, but their involvement could be suspended at a later stage.

In order to progress to the next stage, companies will have to make it into the request-for-proposal (RFP) phase following an interview during the RFC. Admission to RFC doesn’t grant automatic admission to the RFP, for example, nor does any affiliation with local authorities.

The named participants will be given an opportunity to discuss their options with the Osaka IR promotional bureau between June 3 and June 28. Between August and October, the bureau will sit down with applicants and discuss the RFC.

Osaka IR May Not Happen By 2025

Osaka’s bid for the IR has been substantial, but for the project to be developed on time, unless Japanese authorities develop the legal framework that would allow construction work to begin, reported Global Market Advisors LLC.

The company explained that unless the framework is put in place by mid-2020, the Osaka IR may not open on time or the World Expo. Given the average time that it takes to develop a big casino resort, usually up to 40 months according to GMA, the estimation is correct.

Another pothole on the road to progress is that Osaka will need to find vendors first and only then request a permission to push ahead with the project from the national government.


Simon is a freelance writer who specializes in gambling news and has been an author in the poker/casino scene for 10+ years. He brings valuable knowledge to the team and a different perspective, especially as a casual casino player.

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