Plan to open Japan's first casino is approved
Japanese officials have approved plans to construct the country's first gambling resort in Osaka, set to open in 2029. The $13.5 billion complex will include a hotel,
conference center, shopping mall, and museum, with MGM and Japan's Orix Group each owning a 40% stake in the company behind the project.
Casinos have been illegal in Japan, but a 2018 law allowed exceptions for certain games like poker and baccarat.
The aim of the law is to boost tourism and create jobs.
Public opinion is divided, with concerns about a rise in crime and gambling addiction.
The $13.5 billion complex will include a hotel, conference center, shopping mall, and museum.
MGM and Japan's Orix Group each own a 40% stake in the company behind the project.
Local companies, such as West Japan Rail and Kansai Electric Power, and Panasonic will own the remaining 20%.
The resort is expected to attract around 20 million visitors annually.
It's estimated that the project will bring in approximately $9.1 billion in annual economic benefits to the region.
The project was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a corruption scandal involving a ruling-party lawmaker.
Japan is seen as a promising market for gambling, with a population of roughly 126 million and close proximity to wealthy Asian gamblers, particularly from China.
A similar plan has been submitted by the Nagasaki prefecture to build a casino at a Dutch-themed theme park called Huis Ten Bosch.
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