News / Asia

    Osaka Set to Designate Site for Japan's First Proposed Casino

    Reuters
    The Japanese city of Osaka plans to invite operators to build a casino on a plot of reclaimed land on Osaka Bay, its governor told Reuters, beating Tokyo in the race to attract global gaming firms to set up the country's first gambling resort.
     
    Yumeshima, with about 170 hectares (420 acres) of land available for development, is likely to be designated as the preferred site for a casino when Osaka officials meet on April 22 to discuss the issue, Governor Ichiro Matsui said in an interview.
     
    Tokyo, the other city most likely to host a casino, has yet to officially name a site for a development, although the Odaiba area in Tokyo Bay is being touted as the preferred location. Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe has yet to say whether he supports a casino in the capital.
     
    “It's about time that as a city we narrow down the candidate sites,” Matsui said as Japan's parliament prepares to debate a bill that would start the process of legalizing casino gambling in Japan.
     
    “We have reached the point where we need to start accepting proposals,” he added.
     
    Brokerage CLSA predicts Japan could become the world's third-biggest gambling market, with annual revenue exceeding $40 billion.
     
    Matsui, in office since 2011, is a member of the Japan Restoration Party, which has so far supported the casino bill.
     
    Proponents of the initial bill expect debate to start in May, and aim to pass it before the house adjourns in June.
     
    This initial bill would then be followed by a second bill in 2015 cementing concrete laws on how the licenses are selected and the resorts regulated. Supporters say casinos could be in operation by the time Tokyo stages the summer 2020 Olympic Games, boosting leisure industry spending.
     
    Some casino operators and industry analysts say Tokyo may be wary of building a casino at the same time as it prepares to host the Olympics.
     
    Global and Asian gaming companies including Las Vegas Sands Corp, MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd and Malaysia's Genting Bhd have courted officials in both Osaka and Tokyo ahead of the initial bill.
     
    Japan is widely viewed as a prize market for casino operators due to its wealthy population and proximity to China, home to some of the world's most prolific, and richest, gamblers.
     
    Matsui said he would like to see a unique casino complex in Osaka that features local elements such as the region's renowned cuisine. While Yumeshima has lots of space for hotels, convention centers and entertainment and gaming facilities, the city has yet to expand rail services in the area.
     
    Matsui believes casino operators will invest more than 500 billion yen ($4.91 billion) in an integrated resort in the city, adding that he was visited last week by Lawrence Ho, chief executive of Melco Crown Entertainment.
     
    Melco has said it would cost at least $5 billion to develop a Japan casino complex.
     
    Operators are also expected to carry some of the infrastructure costs, but the details will be ironed out after the city receives official proposals.
     
    “That will be for the negotiations,” Matsui said, referring to the breakdown of costs. “Right now we have many companies that want to make proposals. I'd like to see those first.”

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora