Sands officially declares Osaka IR focus

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Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has officially announced its intention to focus its Japan IR bid on Osaka.

Following in the footsteps of MGM Resorts, which declared its Osaka First policy in January, LVS Managing Director of Global Development, George Tanasijevich, admitted this week that Osaka was now the company’s top target given uncertainty around the involvement of either Tokyo or Yokohama in pursuing an IR.

“Public opinion polls don’t indicate support for IRs and Tokyo seems preoccupied with preparations for the Olympics,” he said. “We think the possibilities are very low for both cities at this point.”

Conversely, “the [Osaka] government has made it very clear what kind of IR they are looking for.”

LVS has previously been reluctant to narrow its focus down to a single location.

Osaka officials revealed earlier this month that a total of seven operators have registered to participate in the IR Request for Concept (RFC) held by the city.

Of those, MGM Resorts has already announced a consortium with Orix, while Melco Resorts and Entertainment’s is the other operator to have declared Osaka as its priority.