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In an announcement on Tuesday, the Osaka prefectural and municipal governments have confirmed a delay in the of the much-anticipated first casino in Japan, pushing the expected launch to around 2030.

Originally, when the local governments submitted their development plan to the central government in April 2022, the ’s was slated for the or winter of 2029. The delay stems from the fact that the development plan did not secure central government approval until April of this year, The Japan Times reported.

The Osaka governments have also indicated that the required for the project will experience an increase, rising to ¥1.27 trillion ($8.6 at current exchange rates) from the previously planned ¥1.08 trillion ($7.3 billion), the report said. This upward revision is primarily attributed to escalating costs of construction materials.

Upon receiving central government approval for the revised plan, the Osaka government is poised to move swiftly and sign a contract with the designated operator for the casino , a move that may materialize as early as this month.

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U.S. casino operator MGM Resorts International and local partner Orix Corp are leading the Osaka IR project, each holding a 40% stake in the company managing the complex. The remaining 20% is held by 20 other companies, with MUFG Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp providing 550 billion yen in project financing.

The resort, located on the reclaimed island of Yumeshima in Osaka Bay, will feature a casino, hotels, a conference center, a shopping mall, a museum, and a ferry terminal. High-rollers will also have access to an adjacent helicopter pad. The island is set to host the World Expo in 2025.

Casinos were previously illegal in Japan, but a 2018 integrated resort (IR) law allowed for the establishment of officially approved casinos offering games such as poker and baccarat. The move was part of an effort to attract tourists to the country, which boasts a population of 126 million and is in close proximity to Asia’s wealthy gamblers.

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