First Japanese Casino Resort Set to Open in Fall 2030


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In a momentous step, Japan will see the opening of the first integrated resort by late 2023, according to the latest reports. The project marks a pivotal turn in Japan’s plans to boost the regional economy and capitalize on the increasing number of tourists visiting the country.

Although gambling remains illegal in Japan, that will change with the opening of this new casino and resort. According to, the Japanese casino resort financed by MGM Resort, Orix Corp, and a few other minority-stake partners will open later than expected on the artificial island in the prefecture of Osaka. As the first of its kind, it’s creating quite a buzz among Japanese casino enthusiasts and travelers eager to explore the country and experience this innovative development.

Legalization Of Casino Resorts In Japan

Casinos and similar establishments have long been illegal in Japan. However, in July 2018, the government passed the Integrated Resort Development Act, which marked a watershed moment. This ground-breaking legislation legalized casinos in Japan, allowing private investors to build licensed casinos as essential parts of recognized tourist facilities. These facilities include a variety of amenities, such as hotels and resorts, that are intended to improve the overall tourism experience.

Impact On The Local Economy

The realization of an integrated resort in Japan has been a long-awaited development for its residents. Achieving this milestone necessitated the enactment of new legislation and a comprehensive overhaul of the national strategy. The primary objective has been to stimulate tourism and harness the resulting tax revenue generated by casino activities.

Should the integrated casino resort prove to be a success, it has the potential to make a substantial impact on Japan’s economy. The revenue generated from casino taxes alone will contribute significantly to the national budget. Additionally, the resort is expected to attract a substantial number of tourists, breathing new life into an industry that has been experiencing stagnation in the country.

Efforts To Boost Tourism

Japan has been actively working to revitalize its tourism industry, with the goal of attracting a greater number of international visitors each year. Just a few years ago, Japan experienced a tourism boom, welcoming over 30 million foreign tourists annually. However, recent years have seen a decline in these numbers, highlighting the untapped potential of this lucrative industry.

In response, the government initiated a series of projects aimed at positioning Japan as a top international travel destination. Following its role as the host of the 2020 Olympics, Japan is now preparing to host the World Expo 2025 and various other global events. The World Expo, scheduled for the summer of 2025, will take place on Yumeshima, an artificial island that will soon house the country’s first integrated casino resort. This strategic move is expected to further boost Japan’s appeal to international travelers.

First Japanese Casino Resort:

In April 2023, the Japanese government approved the plan to open the first casino resort in the Osaka prefecture. The initial plan was for the resort to open in 2029, but unexpected cost increases pushed the opening date to fall of 2030.

Investment And Development

The financial and political motives to invest in the gaming industry are at an all-time high. Osaka has long been one of the few coastal regions with newly built islands, making it the perfect location for a project involving a massive integrated resort. Yumeshima Island, located less than a mile from the Osaka harbor, was chosen as the top spot for the resort. After the conclusion of the World Expo two years from now, the complex facilities on the island will be turned into the said casino resort.

MGM Resorts Japan and local finance conglomerate Orix Corp are the main partners in the project, each with a 40% stake in the integrated resort. Around 20 other companies, including local firms, make up the remaining 20%

Delays In Construction

Initial reports said the resort would open in 2029, but recent delays have pushed the opening date for another year. According to local authorities, sudden increases in construction costs are the main reason for the delay. A surge in material prices has inflated the project’s budget to $8.5 trillion, up from the initial $8.1 trillion. The main investors, MGM Resorts and Orix, will cover the increase. Initial estimates suggest the resort will net around $3.5 billion annually, which explains the investors’ willpower to cover the increase.

Final Thoughts

The opening of Japan’s first integrated resort is a huge milestone. It shows a reignited approach towards modernizing entertainment facilities in the country. Japan, which had historically maintained a stringent stance against the gaming sector, is now progressing towards becoming a contemporary hub featuring integrated resorts. Regardless of the project’s eventual outcome, this development signifies a pivotal shift, setting the stage for the eagerly anticipated countdown to its grand opening.

ALSO READ: Slot Machines: Fueling Global Casino Industry Growth and Innovation

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