An email to GGRAsia from casino equipment supplier Aruze Gaming Macau Ltd said a recent Philippine court order would “restore the composition of the board of directors of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc to the composition it had in 2017, before the dispute between Universal Entertainment Corp and Kazuo Okada began”.
That was a reference to Japanese entrepreneur Kazuo Okada (pictured), who founded Universal Entertainment, as well as the Aruze brand, but who was in June 2017 ousted from Universal Entertainment’s board, accused of fraud. He denied the allegations.
Since then, Mr Okada has been trying to regain control of Universal Entertainment, and its subsidiary Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, an entity that controls the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippine capital, Manila.
According to the 2021 annual report of Universal Entertainment, as of December 31, Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment – a Philippine company – was 99.9 percent controlled by Universal Entertainment.
Aruze Gaming Macau said in its email to GGRAsia: “On April 27, 2022, the Supreme Court of the Philippines… issued a status quo ante order for the case of ‘Kazuo Okada vs Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment Inc et al…’, which is effective until further order, directing the respondent, its agents, and their representatives, or any person acting on their behalf, to order them to restore the original status of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc… prior to their [the Kazuo Okada side’s] removal as shareholders, directors, chairman, and chief executive in 2017”.
It is not clear from the information provided by Aruze whether the order has the effect of giving Mr Okada and any relevant associates effective control over the business of Okada Manila.
GGRAsia made several requests to Aruze Gaming Macau for clarification on that point and for a copy of the court order, but had not been able to obtain the information prior to this story going online.
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