MGM Resorts International's plans for the most expensive and extravagant casino-resort in history are one step closer to reality in Osaka, Japan.
The Las Vegas-based casino giant on Thursday announced that Osaka IR Corporation, a joint venture between MGM and Japanese financial services group ORIX Corporation, signed implementation agreements with the Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City to begin development on a proposed $10 billion integrated casino-resort.
"This is a significant moment for our company as we officially close the certification process and begin to focus on executing our vision,” MGM Resorts President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle said. “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 resort call for 2,500 hotel rooms, a 3,500-seat theater, nearly 400,000 square feet of conference facilities (designed to accommodate more than 6,000 visitors) and 330,000 square feet of exhibition space.
The integrated resort is projected to attract 20 million visitors annually while employing 15,000 workers.
The Osaka integrated resort is the first of three planned for Japan. With local and regional agreements in place for MGM and ORIX, now they just need approval from the central government to receive the first gaming licenses in Japan.
MGM and ORIX each hold a 40 percent stake in the Osaka IR company. The remaining 20 percent is split up among local businesses, including the region’s railway and power companies.
The Osaka IR property will exist on Yumeshima, an artificial island in the Osaka Bay that was originally created as a landfill and now is being primed to host the 2025 Expo.
Japan, a country rich in gambling culture but not considered a gambling destination, made their first casino megaresorts possible when the Diet passed a law in 2018 allowing for three licensed casinos – in Osaka, Tokyo and Yokohama. In April of this year, the MGM and ORIX plan was the first to gain necessary certifications. Now, with Thursday’s announcement, implementation is underway.
Construction is slated to begin in 2024, with an anticipated grand opening in 2030.
The $10 billion price tag (¥1.5 trillion) makes MGM’s proposed Osaka resort the largest casino development ever. For comparison, here’s a snapshot of some of the other most expensive casino builds in the world: