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MGM in talks to sell Circus Circus

Mon, Sep 23, 5:45pm by Staff Writer

Casino and hospitality giant MGM Resorts International is reportedly in talks with real estate tycoon Phil Ruffin about a potential sale of its Circus Circus property.

Casino Buzz reports that Bloomberg said there are unconfirmed sources that MGM officials are already planning to sell the property to Phil Ruffin.

Bloomberg reports that, an accord to sell the resort could be announced as part of a larger transaction involving the company’s real estate portfolio, which also includes the Bellagio and the flagship MGM Grand.

For Ruffin, the would not be his first deal with MGM, he bought the Treasure Island casino from MGM for $746 million in 2009.

MGM had sold the Treasure Island casino to raise funds for its promising city centre project.

MGM has been trying to cut its operational costs and has also confirmed its plans for a Japanese casino in Osaka prefecture.

Earlier in May, MGM, in its bid to minimize costs, announced that they would be cutting at least 1000 jobs across the US.

MGM is also planning to invest about $9 billion in the Osaka casino project in Japan.

The company has said that its casino project will generate employment to the tune of 15,000 jobs.

They will also channel the investment through at least 10 local companies.

MGM partnered with Oryx, a local Japanese company to contend for a casino licence in Japan.

Yokohama to throw its hat into Japanese casino ring

Yokohama will join the race for the right to host one of Japan’s first casino resorts according to government sources.

Casino News Daily reports that the country’s government has authorised the development of up to three integrated resorts that are expected to open in the mid-2020s.

Other Japanese cities and prefectures have already ramped up their efforts to race for the right to host one of the resorts.

Osaka has a plan for a resort on the artificial Yumeshima island and is considered by many as the frontrunner in the race.

The man-made island was selected, as the site for the 2025 World Expo last year, which is believed will further boost its casino bid.

As Osaka launches its selection process, expect extraordinary competition among at least a half-dozen of the biggest names in gaming, and in this beauty contest, second place won’t even get a bouquet.

“For a successful development, you need a number of things to align: a sufficient population base, including tourists, to feed customers, infrastructure and political support,” MGM Japan CEO Ed Bowers says.

“Osaka has consistently said it wanted integrated resorts. In all jurisdictions across the world, if you don’t get political support, it is extremely difficult for IR development to be successful,” he said.

In January, MGM declared as “Osaka First” strategy and in March, confirmed a partnership with Japanese financial services giant Orix.

Yokohama set to announce plans later this week

The Mayor of Yokohama Fumiko Hayashi may announce that her city will bid for the right to host one of the casinos later this week.

It is understood that the port city has a population of 3.75 million people and plans to build the resort at the 47-hectare Yamashita Wharf, which is located not far from the tourist-heavy Yamashita Park.

Sources also said that the city government would submit during this September’s regular session of the local assembly a draft budget involving an additional 260 million yen the city would use to further its bid.

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