MGM’s Osaka casino project takes step forward by finalizing certification

MGM Resorts International has taken a major step forward in its plan to develop an integrated resort (IR) in Osaka, Japan after finalizing certification for the project. The US casino giant announced that Osaka IR Corporation, a joint venture with ORIX Corporation, has signed an agreement with Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City to implement the “Specified Integrated Resort Facilities Area Development Plan” for the Yumeshima, Osaka IR.

This is a significant moment for our company as we officially close the certification process and begin to focus on executing our vision, in partnership with ORIX, to build a world-class integrated resort in Osaka,” said Bill Hornbuckle, President and CEO of MGM Resorts.

We remain passionately committed to this project and look forward to bringing Japan and Osaka best-in-class gaming, entertainment, dining and retail experiences. Our vision is to bring MGM’s ‘wow’ DNA from Las Vegas to Osaka and build a resort that will be a source of great pride in the community.”

Plans for the Osaka resort were first unveiled in 2021, and the Japanese government officially certified the development plan in April. The development, slated to become Japan’s inaugural casino, is anticipated to open its doors around 2030.

In addition to gambling options, the IR is expected to feature 2,500 guest rooms, numerous dining options, a 3,500-seat theater, and approximately 400,000 square feet of conference space. The project is the result of a partnership between MGM Resorts and ORIX Corporation, solidified through the Osaka IR Corporation joint venture.

The lengthy journey to realizing this integrated resort began with the enactment of legislation in 2018, paving the way for such developments in Japan. After overcoming several hurdles and delays, the law finally took effect in July 2021. MGM secured the contract to spearhead this initiative and joined forces with Japanese business ORIX in a partnership established two years ago.

The estimated cost for the entire project is approximately $12 billion (JPY1.8 trillion), and is expected to transform Yumeshima, an artificial island near Osaka, into a hub of entertainment and tourism.

While an official opening date is yet to be confirmed, reports suggest that the resort will not be ready until 2030. However, once complete, it is poised to become a beacon of prestige and innovation in the Osaka region and Japan as a whole.