Osaka, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)–Prefectural and city officials in Osaka, western Japan, plan to open a casino resort on an artificial island in Osaka Bay in fiscal 2029, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.
The Osaka prefectural and city governments had been vague about when the casino resort will open on Yumeshima, saying only that it would be in the second half of the 2020s.
In September, the pair picked a joint team of MGM Resorts International and Orix Corp. <8591> to be the operator of the casino resort.
The city of Osaka will shoulder some 80 billion yen in costs to clean soil contaminated with excessive levels of substances such as arsenic and fluorine found on Yumeshima, which it owns, the sources said.
“It’s natural for the city to shoulder the cost as the owner so that the operators can lease safe land,” Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui told reporters. Soil contamination on Yumeshima came to light in January this year.
The city government’s plan to shoulder the soil-improving costs will be included in a resort development plan the prefecture and the city will submit to the central government.
The prefecture and its capital will hold hearings on the development plan for local residents in January next year.
They will submit the plan to the central government by April after obtaining approval by their assemblies.
The massive soil-cleaning cost, however, could complicate deliberations in the assemblies.
The western prefecture of Wakayama and the southwestern prefecture of Nagasaki also aim to host casinos. The central government plans to choose up to three locations to host casino resorts.