MGM Resorts, Galaxy Entertainment frontrunners for Osaka license

    MGM Resorts International and Galaxy Entertainment are currently the frontrunners among candidates for a potential casino license in the Japanese city of Osaka, according to the Japan Times, which cited unnamed city officials.
    An ambition by USJ Co., which runs the nearby Universal Studios Japan theme park, may face hurdles due to longstanding mistrust between the company and officials, the newspaper said.
    “I don’t have a relationship based on trust with USJ’s management,” Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto was cited as saying this week, while governor Ichiro Matsui pointed to the company’s lack of experience in the casino business.
    The city has been trying to force USJ to pay more for property it leases since 2010.
    Officials in Osaka have been strong proponents of legalizing casinos in Japan, unlike in Tokyo where the administration has been more conservative. They are keen for a resort to be built Yumeshima, an artificial island in Osaka Bay, to boost tourism revenue.