On February 18, Galaxy Entertainment Group confirmed that it has withdrawn from the Request for Proposal (RFP) process for Osaka’s integrated resort (IR). This follows a February 14 report that MGM Resorts and its local partner in Japan, Orix, were the only survivors of Osaka’s RFP process. Galaxy Entertainment joins Genting Singapore, who also appear to be opting out of the process.
In a statement provided by Galaxy’s Vice Chairman Francis Lui, he stated, “We have greatly appreciated being able to play an active role in the RFC stage and enjoyed the in-depth discussion this afforded us – in particular, being given the opportunity to listen, learn and share our vision for how this new industry could benefit the city of Osaka, the business community, its citizens and the wider economy of Japan.”
Lui explained that Galaxy would focus their efforts on other locations in Japan. “After deep reflection, we decided at this time that our focus should be on other potential locations in Japan, including among others, Yokohama.”
The Vice Chairman made it clear that Galaxy is deeply committed to helping Japan reach both its economic and tourism goals. By working with other proven organizations within different consortiums, they will be able to help in making those goals a reality.
Yokohama may be a better bet for Galaxy than Osaka was, but the competition will still be tough. MGM will most likely gain one of the three gaming licenses that Japan is making available country-wide, plus local residents appear to be against the idea of a resort-casino in Yokohama.
Last Friday, the Osaka RFP group announced that MGM was the only accepted bid to assist them in moving forward to build the resort-casino. There were half a dozen groups that were bidding for the RFP, but MGM now stands alone.
MGM was able to separate themselves from the pack by suggesting they would attempt to do things that other operators might not, including attempting to open a casino by the year 2025, the year of Osaka’s World Expo.