A proposal for a local referendum regarding Osaka’s tilt at an integrated resort (IR) with casino has been rejected by the prefectural assembly of that Japanese metropolis. The vote took place on Friday.
The proposal for a referendum was opposed by the Osaka Restoration Association and by Komeito. The two political groups control respectively 48 and 15 of the 84 seats of the prefectural assembly.
An anti-casino group was seeking the vote on a local referendum on the IR plan for Osaka. This was on the basis the lobbyists had gathered more than 190,000 signatures from registered local voters, above the 2 percent, or circa 146,500 of electors, needed to submit such a referendum request.
Following required procedure, Osaka prefecture’s governor, Hirofumi Yoshimura – a member of the pro-casino Osaka Restoration Association – had submitted a draft local ordinance on the topic, for a vote by the prefectural assembly.
The result of Friday’s vote had been expected. On June 6, Mr Yoshimura was reported as saying he did not believe such a referendum necessary.
In June, MGM Resorts International, a key private-sector partner for the proposed scheme (pictured in an artist’s rendering), said it expected Japan’s national government would give a decision by the autumn regarding Osaka’s bid.
The project involves investment of JPY1.08-trillion (US$8.0 billion at current exchange rates).