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The Osaka Government has announced the prefecture didn’t attract any new potential partners for its planned integrated resort, after an extension of its request-for-proposal (RFP) process. At present, the only contender that is qualified for the bid is a consortium consisting of MGM Resorts International and its local partner Orix.

The prefecture was accepting additional submissions from private-sector entities from March 19 to April 6. During this time, the prefecture also eased some of the previous requirements involving hotel accommodation and possible future expansions.

However, no other potential partner was selected. Reportedly, the submission window was too short to attract any viable proposals. Additionally, the MGM-Orix consortium had spent several years building its reputation in Osaka specifically, which makes it tricky for any other operator to establish a presence in the prefecture.

“MGM has expressed its intention to continue the Osaka IR, even though it is extremely difficult to manage. We are able to respond in good faith as a partner,” said Osaka Mayor Ichirō Matsui.

Osaka will likely request additional documents from the consortium in July, with September set as a deadline to select the IR partner. The local Government will then submit proposals to the national Government between October 2021 and April 2022.