Wynn Resorts Ltd has asked the Nevada Supreme Court to overturn judicial orders requiring it to pass some company documents to Japanese gaming entrepreneur Kazuo Okada (pictured), reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper.
The material is said to relate to Mr Okada’s ousting in 2012 as a shareholder and director of Wynn Resorts, a company founded by Steve Wynn.
The news outlet reported on Monday that one District Court order required Wynn Resorts to turn over material related to the creation of the Freeh Report. The latter was an analysis by Louis Freeh – a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. – that concluded Mr Okada was “unsuitable” to be a Wynn Resorts 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 has denied any wrongdoing, and has since won the right to develop his own gaming resort – Okada Manila – in that country. The Japanese entrepreneur claims his ousting from the Wynn Resorts board was due to him becoming the biggest single shareholder of the firm after Mr Wynn saw his own stake reduced following a divorce.
The other Nevada court order reportedly requires communications between the Brownstein Hyatt law firm and Wynn Resorts shareholders to be turned over to Mr Okada’s side, according to the Review-Journal.
Lawyers for Wynn Resorts said that were the firm compelled to provide the information it would be a major blow to Nevada’s “business judgement” rule that presumes directors of companies are acting in good faith.
Attorneys for Mr Okada’s side said their opponents had manufactured the idea that a principle was at stake; the issue was simply one of evidence discovery.
In 2012 Wynn Resorts’ board voted to cancel Mr Okada’s 20 percent stake amounting to 24.5 million shares and issue 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, held through his company Universal Entertainment Corp.
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”We have not had discussions about the concession renewal with the [Macau] government. We have taken the view that if we continue to deliver on what we expect is the expectations from operators, then we will be treated fairly”
Chairman and chief executive of MGM Resorts, the parent of Macau casino operator MGM China