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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid