MGM eyes Tokyo fish market for potential casino site

    MGM Resorts International has scouted Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market as a potential site for a casino should it win a license, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
    CEO James Murren visited the central Tokyo market in March to survey the sprawling site, currently comprised of fish stalls on about 231,000 square meters (57 acres). The city may sell the parcel after vendors relocate, it said.
    The site, one of the largest parcels ever offered for redevelopment in the Japanese capital and located near the luxury shopping enclave of Ginza, would be an alternative to the Odaiba district that is seen as the top contender for a gaming resort.
    The report cites CLSA analyst Jay Defibaugh as saying the market site may attract a greater number of visitors as it’s accessible by transit and is close to other tourist draws.
    Japan’s Diet is expected to resume debate on a bill legalizing casinos in Tokyo in the Fall. However, some doubt that the tight timeframe will allow for the first casinos to be open by the time Tokyo hosts the Olympics in 2020, as was originally envisaged.
    The world’s biggest casino operators are all gearing up to bid for a license in Japan, with the prize locations currently seen as Tokyo and Osaka.