Japanese gaming conglomerate Universal Entertainment said in a Friday filing to Jasdaq that it “strongly believes” it will be able to present via a U.S. court a case against casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd seeking return of 24.55 million shares in the latter that Universal Entertainment says are owed to its own unit Aruze USA Inc.
Universal Entertainment indicated in its Friday filing that at the Nevada trial, scheduled to start on April 16 next year, it would argue the Wynn Resorts shares were “unfairly and improperly redeemed by Wynn Resorts” and that the Japanese group would seek damages from Wynn Resorts “well in excess of a billion [U.S.] dollars for undervaluing the redeemed shares by more than 30 percent of the then market price of the shares, even if the redemption was valid”.
It emerged last week that a Nevada state court, had rejected a bid by Wynn Resorts Ltd, parent of Macau casino firm Wynn Macau Ltd, to avoid a jury trial regarding the previous role of Japanese entrepreneur Kazuo Okada – founder of Universal Entertainment – as a Wynn Resorts shareholder.
In 2012, Wynn Resorts’ board voted to cancel a 20 percent stake in the firm amounting to 24.5 million shares and held by Mr Okada through Universal Entertainment. Wynn Resorts issued him with a promissory note for US$1.9 billion. The note was in effect a 30-percent discount on the then US$2.77-billion valuation of his stake.
The decision followed a Wynn Resorts-commissioned report that concluded Mr Okada was “unsuitable” to be a company director and a threat to the firm’s gaming licences. This was on the basis of Mr Okada allegedly providing gifts to what were then senior officials of the Philippine casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Mr Okada and Universal Entertainment have denied any wrongdoing, and the firm subsequently won the right to develop its own gaming resort – Okada Manila – in that country.
Since then, Mr Okada has been ousted from the board of Universal Entertainment following an unrelated company-initiated enquiry that found he was responsible for “three acts of fraudulence”.
The wrangle between Mr Okada and Universal Entertainment also includes the issue of who has the right to control Aruze USA, and by extension, might also have an impact on the ultimate beneficiary of any Wynn Resorts shares that might be returned to the Japanese parties were there to be success in the Nevada court trial.
Aug 16, 2018Food and drink have been heavily marketed as part of Macau...
Jun 27, 2018Macau’s gaming law needs to be amended in order to...
Jun 25, 2018Electronic casino game distributor Asia Pioneer...
Aug 17, 2018Nearly 900 employees of MGM China Holdings Ltd graduated this week from training programmes put on by the Macau casino operator. A MGM China press release said the company held a graduation ceremony...
Aug 17, 2018
Aug 17, 2018
"The ICAC in Hong Kong has the authority to detain people or to arrest people. But being detained or arrested – and actually being charged – are completely different things"
Japanese gaming entrepreneur