Osaka’s political and business leaders are forging ahead with plans to develop Yumeshima into a site for an integrated resort and casino by 2024 and the World Exposition in 2025, the Japan Times reports.
However, tough hurdles lie ahead for the city, with Paris a strong competitor for the World Expo, and an estimated JPY70 billion ($625.7 million) needed to extend the city subway out to the island.
A development plan by Osaka city released on Tuesday has envisioned a 70-hectare portion of the island for an integrated resort facility with a casino, hotels, shopping arcades, galleries and convention center. Another 60 hectares would be set aside for the 2025 Expo.
It is estimated to cost in total around JPY824 billion.
Plans of opening integrated resorts in Japan however, has been met with public outcry, with many locals concerned that they will spread gambling addiction, organized crime, and contribute to youth delinquency.
Yoshimura said that if Osaka’s plan for an integrated casino resort falls through and the city loses its bid for the 2025 Expo, it will begin new discussions on what to do with Yumeshima.
“At this stage, though, talking about a ‘Plan B’ or ‘Plan C’ will just make bidding more difficult,” he said.