As Asian Gaming Brief (AGB) reports, the analysts of financial service company Morningstar estimate that the $10 billion Osaka resort operated by casino giant MGM has the potential to outperform Las Vegas Sands’ Singapore and Venetian Macau facilities early in the next decade. As reported by AGB, the Osaka integrated resort may generate more than $4 billion in revenue by early 2030s to exceed the revenue levels of $3 billion and $4 billion respectively generated by Sands Singapore and Venetian Macau.
Booming Visits to Osaka:
Dan Wasiolek, senior equity analyst at Morningstar, told the source that Osaka has recorded over 12 million international visits before the pandemic and expects the new development to attract even more Western and Chinese visits. Wasiolek reportedly said: “This view is buoyed by the resort’s proximity to Osaka’s airport and business center, which should be enhanced by new transportation infrastructure.”
In addition, Morningstar‘s research team reportedly expects increased numbers of the domestic visitors as they believe that ”the dense population and high income of Osaka and other Japanese city residents have an appetite for gaming and non-gaming activities that will be offered at the property. Further, the large size of the property should offer plenty to see and do for a wide range of interests,” AGB reports.
Expecting $3.6 Billion in Revenue:
The Osaka integrated resort is reportedly set for development at a 490,000 square meter plot in north Yumeshima. As the source reports, this artificial island in Osaka Bay will be the home for the casino expected to launch in 2029 or 2030. According to the forecasts reported by AGB, the Osaka resort to be developed by MGM Resorts and its partner Orix expects to attract around six million foreign visitors and 14 million domestic tourists already in the initial period of operation to generate JPY520 billion ($3.6 billion) in revenues each year.
Wasiolek reportedly stated: “This stance is due to the island nation’s propensity to gamble and high-income urban population density, which should produce strong revenue.” He reportedly indicated that the Japanese pachinko hall industry saw pre-pandemic revenue levels of around $30 billion to prove the argument about the Japanese propensity to gamble.
Fostering Strong Demand Environment:
The revenue level may also be boosted with the gaming license reportedly approved only for the city of Osaka. As AGM reports, the Japanese government passed the Implementation Bill in 2018 to allow gaming in the country and then reportedly planned to award urban gaming licenses to Osaka and Yokohama. But, the Morningstar analysts reportedly foresaw the current situation. “As time has gone on, our prognosis changed to just one urban license awarded in Osaka, which now appears to be the case,” Wasiolek reportedly commented.
The senior analyst of the financial services company told the source that these indicators of the nation’s appetite for casino play are expected to foster strong gaming demand. According to AGB, Wasiolek said: ‘‘Osaka’s metro area population measures 19 million, with a population density around 50 percent greater than Singapore and well in excess of that of the US, and healthy average household incomes near $50,000 a year, all of which we believe should foster a strong demand environment for the planned integrated resort.”
Appetite for Gamblers from Singapore and Macau:
For this reason, Wasiolek reportedly believes that “there is an appetite for additional gamblers” who might be taken from the Osaka’s direct competitors such as Singapore or Macau. The analyst reportedly advised that the Japanese resort may attract visitors from the north of Macau and from Singapore. According to AGB, Wasiolek said that the Osaka resort ” could attract new players from Shanghai and other coastal and northern cities in mainland China, which are nearer to Japan, while also taking in some visitors from around the world.”
As reported, the Osaka resort is set to open in 2029 or 2030. Meanwhile, the construction of the resort is facing labor shortages affecting the entire country. “This could threaten our forecast for the property to open in 2030, while also placing upward pressure on our $10 billion cost-to-build estimate,” the analyst reportedly noted. He also considers that Osaka will remain the sole urban license in Japan after a bribery scandal involving major casino operators coupled with the pandemic restrictions suspended another Osaka bid.
“We no longer expect a second urban license in Japan for the foreseeable future,” the analyst reportedly said. For this reason, the Osaka resort will face no domestic competition once it is launched. It will compete with Singapore and Macau offerings and the projected revenue level of almost $4 billion at the start of the new decade is grounded on the detailed research to represent the target for the Osaka resort.
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