Osaka expects to be able and deliver an integrated resort project by March 31, 2027 should it be selected for the inaugural project. A special merit-based point system was established to select a suitable private-sector partner.
Osaka Expects Resort by 2027, Releases Point System
The government of the Japanese Prefecture of Osaka announced that any full integrated resort (IR) launch in the Osaka Bay should happen by March 31, 2027. This statement was released as part of the prefecture’s selection criteria for a private sponsor to help the local government push ahead with a bid with the national government.
While, a company that could carry out the project within the specified time frame would be an upside, the prefecture would not consider it a factor in choosing the said partner. Earlier this week, Osaka updated its request-for-proposal (RFP) phase guidelines, assigning a points system where every potential partner can be objectively judged based on its own merit.
Osaka said that it would accept bids for its Integrated Resort (IR) project between January 6 through February 14, 2020. Once a private-sector partner is selected, the prefecture will apply for a government approval in 2021.
Osaka Adopts a Point-Based System to Select Partner
To evaluate every participant objectively, the prefecture would run a 1000-point system divvied up between different criteria. Osaka will evaluate the financial strength of potential partners as well as judge the concept of each IR put forward by a partner.
Osaka would also expect a private-sector partner to invest in MICE, i.e. meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions spaces. Not least of all, the prefecture would expect partners to give back to the community and develop projects favourable to the community as a whole, especially since Japanese nationals will face restrictions to gamble whereas foreign visitors without residency would be exempt from paying taxes.
Previously, Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui argued that Osaka would not be able to welcome a resort before 2026, with the financial year for the prefecture running into 2027. Based on this timeline, Osaka may not be prepared to launch an IR on time for the World Expo in 2025, which is one of the main prerequisites to win the bidding for the first project.