In mid-2018, lawmakers in Japan shocked the world by passing a bill to legalize casino gambling. It was a huge change, as Japan previously banned virtually all forms of gambling. Since the bill was passed, every single major US casino company has pushed to obtain a casino license here. Now, it appears that MGM Resorts in Osaka is on the horizon.
New reports indicate that this company is the favorite to obtain a casino license in this city. It’s fantastic news for the Las Vegas-based gaming operator. Today, we’re going to talk about this company’s move into Japan.
Let’s get into it!
Japan Shaping Up to Be One of the World’s Biggest Casino Markets
For decades, Japan was considered one of the least-friendly gambling countries in the world. Government officials here banned just about all forms of gambling shortly after World War Two. Pachinko, a sort of slot-machine style game, is the only form of gambling allowed in this country.
This is beginning to change now. In 2018, officials here finally decided it was time to earn revenue from the gambling industry. The government approved a bill to legalize three casino-resorts in the country.
That doesn’t mean casinos became immediately available here. The government is taking its time coming up with a specific set of laws to regulate this new industry. Lawmakers are also working to decide which companies should be allowed to operate gambling venues in the country.
Analysts predict that Japan will quickly become one of the largest casino markets in the world. There are a huge number of individuals here that will gamble and casinos will help to bring in gambling tourists from many nearby countries. Unsurprisingly, just about every single major casino operator has pushed to obtain a casino license here.
This includes MGM Resorts International. This company has looked to operate a gambling venue in Osaka for years. Now, it appears that MGM Resorts in Osaka is becoming a reality.
MGM Resorts in Osaka Might be Just Around the Corner
Osaka is one of the biggest cities in Japan. It’s expected to be one of the three casinos chosen to host a casino-resort. MGM Resorts International has repeatedly stated that it wants to operate a venue here.
News is new coming out that MGM Resorts is the lead bidder to obtain a casino license in Osaka. The Las Vegas-based casino operator is teaming up with Japan’s Orix Corp to build and run this new property. MGM is willing to invest billions into a new casino-resort in Osaka.
MGM Resorts in Osaka is not a guarantee, though. For now, the company is only the lead bidder. The local government will officially decide on which company will receive a license this June.
It seems highly likely that MGM will be chosen, though. Not long ago, Wynn Resorts announced it was no longer interested in opening a gambling venue here. Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts & Entertainment have also withdrawn from this city.
Osaka is expected to be the first city that grants a casino license. A casino here would greatly expand MGM Resorts International’s portfolio.
That’s not the only interesting thing happening with this casino company.
Jim Murren’s Departure From MGM Drops Share Prices
Since 2008, Jim Murren has been the CEO of MGM Resorts International. During his tenure as company leader, he’s helped to significantly expand the company’s portfolio. He’s also credited with saving the company from bankruptcy during the recession of 2008 and 2009.
This week, Murren announced that he’s stepping down as CEO. His contract was set to expire soon, yet it appears he’s ready to call it a day a little early. The company is currently searching for a replacement. In the meantime, Murren is remaining as CEO.
Shortly after Murren’s announcement, MGM Resorts’ share prices began to plummet. After the markets closed on Wednesday, the company’s stock fell by 5.5%. Several analysts have questioned what the company’s next strategy will be.
It’s clear that overseas expansion is in the works. MGM Resorts in Osaka seems inevitable. There’s also a chance that this company begins pushing into new countries in Asia, as well.
MGM is likely to announce its new CEO over the next few weeks. There are plenty of options to choose from. Whoever steps into the position has some big shoes to fill.
Stay tuned for more news on MGM Resorts International over the next few weeks!