- Latest images promise great things for Japan’s new casino resorts
- Sites in Yumeshima, Wakayama and Rinku Town compete for licenses
A digital illustration of a potential integrated casino resort in Yumeshima has got the industry buzzing about the potential of new resorts in Japan.
The image shows an expansive inlet, tiered hotels, waterfront complexes and an impressive arched bridge comprised of the resort itself.
The image is essentially part of a bid, an attempt to win the right to be among the first legal gambling complexes in Japan.
This particular location is an artificial island constructed in Osaka Bay, but there are competing locations in Wakayama Marina City in Wakayama Prefecture and Rinku Town in Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture.
Preliminary images and information like this point towards positive things for the new crop of casinos.
According to the Japan Times, Yumeshima’s bid has attracted interest from US casino giants Las Vegas Sands Corp and MGM Resorts International, and especially Hong Kong’s Melco Resorts & Entertainment, which has said it prefers building in Osaka to Tokyo.
Political and business leaders in Osaka have touted the location as an ideal site.
The hope is to have an integrated 70-hectare resort by 2024 and to host the World Exposition in 2025. However, the Diet is still yet to decide in the exact legislation that casinos will have to operate within.
Wakayama Marina City is competing against these plans with their own bid for a casino resort.
The Japan Times also reports that the Wakayama prefecture claims that it can attract enough of the approximately 6 million foreign visitors coming through Kansai airport (45 minutes away by car) to be profitable.
The site is also around 70 minutes from downtown Osaka. This bid also has the edge in that officials claim that construction will go ahead immediately, as soon as a license is awarded.
Meanwhile in Rinku Town, an area populated by offices, shopping centres and logistics, a bid exists for a site which is across the bay from Kansai airport (a few minutes by train).
This too is said to be ideally located to attract tourists, plus it has a fair amount of local backing – a 2013 survey suggested that 68 percent of Izumisano residents supported the legalisation of casino gambling.
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