As Japan edges toward legalizing gambling resorts, USJ Co. is counting on its cachet turning around its Universal Studios theme park to win a partnership with a foreign casino operator.

The operator of Osaka's 13-year-old Universal Studios Japan is in talks with MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Genting Bhd. for a possible partnership to run a casino resort, Chief Executive Officer Glenn Gumpel said in an interview.

"We have operational capacity, experience know-how, and I don't think we would be stretched to participate in more than one" casino resort, Gumpel said at USJ's headquarters located inside the park. "As a company, we would like to grow outside of the current confines of the theme park."