OSAKA – Osaka officials have decided to ditch the city's plan to open a casino resort under Japan's liberalized gambling laws by March 2027 due to the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.
In 2019, Osaka City and Osaka Prefecture set fiscal year 2026 as the target for the plan. However, this is not mentioned in a soon-to-be-adopted policy as a number of companies have lagged behind in their preparations for the project. according to the sources.
The decision came after the Japanese government postponed plans to accept formal applications from municipalities vying to house so-called integrated resorts, which include a large hotel, conference rooms and play areas. The application period originally planned for January to July is now to begin in October.
The government plans to select up to three locations to allow integrated resorts to open under the laws that parliament approved in 2018 to legalize gambling in Japan.
The Osaka Prefectural and Metropolitan Governments will each hold a meeting of senior officials later this week to approve the policy, which details such as the timing of the casino's scheduled opening and various conditions for companies involved in its construction, the sources are determined.
The policy won't include a specific opening year, but officials intend to gradually open a hotel and portions of other facilities, the sources said.
So far, Yokohama, near Tokyo and Japan's second largest city by population, as well as Wakayama and Nagasaki prefectures, have announced their intention to house casinos.
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