Island approved for commercial use in boost to Osaka IR plans

By Tim Poole

Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka, has been approved for commercial use – making it a strong candidate for an integrated resort.

Proposals are currently being put in place for three casino licenses in Japan, with several companies keen on operating an integrated resort in Osaka.

Yumeshima is a 143.3 hectare area (1.4 million metres) that was previously earmarked for industrial use.

However, the Osaka City Planning Council has agreed to change the island’s purpose in a bid to promote it as a tourist hub.

The Council said: "We will guide reasonable land usage for the purpose of creating a new international tourism hub on the coastal area, which can be easily accessed from the city and where a large amount of land can be secured."

MGM Resorts International has laid out its Osaka-first strategy in Japan, while Melco Resorts and Entertainment has also targeted the city.

But Caesars Entertainment recently announced it will not be pursuing a Japanese casino license at all and Las Vegas Sands confirmed it will focus on locations away from Osaka.

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