Japanese gaming entrepreneur Kazuo Okada has accused 11 people – including his son Tomohiro, his estranged wife Takako, and Jun Fujimoto, the president of Universal Entertainment Corp, the conglomerate he founded – of illegally conspiring to remove him from Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc.
The latter is the promoter of the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippine capital. Tiger Resort is also a unit of Universal Entertainment. Mr Okada was ousted as chairman of the parent group in June 2017, and was removed from office at Tiger Resort the same month.
Mr Okada has now accused those named in the lawsuit of “qualified theft” and “estafa with abuse of confidence” – a form of fraud – “on or about” June 13 to June 17, 2017, in relation to stripping him of his rights to control the Tiger Resort entity and Okada Manila. The document refers to “Tiger Resort PH” to define collectively the Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment entity, and Okada Manila.
Mr Okada has himself been accused of “estafa” involving US$3 million, in relation to Tiger Resort, and is facing in the Philippines a warrant for his arrest. The warrant was recently confirmed after an appeal Mr Okada made against it was dismissed.
Mr Okada and one of his senior executives, Takahiro Usui – who also faces a Philippine arrest warrant on the same issues – are taking fresh legal steps to quash that process.
Mr Okada’s counter allegation regarding Tiger Resort is contained in an affidavit acknowledged as received on May 2 by the Philippine Department of Justice’s National Prosecution Service, Paranaque City branch.
In the papers – seen by GGRAsia – Mr Okada states regarding his son and referring to the Tiger Resort entity: “Tomohiro betrayed me by orchestrating and spearheading the ouster events together with Fujimoto.”
Mr Okada has previously appealed to his son – as reported in an interview with GGRAsia last year – to change tack and support him in efforts to regain control of Universal Entertainment.
In his affidavit regarding the alleged theft of Tiger Resort, Mr Okada defined Mr Fujimoto as his “protégé and confidant” at Universal Entertainment “for many years”, and as having risen through the ranks of the group from 2001 onwards thanks to the veteran businessman’s “tutelage and guidance”.
Regarding his estranged wife, the entrepreneur said that after she had been elected – on his advice – as a Universal Entertainment director in 2015 “instead of showing me her love and loyalty, Takako betrayed me by being a willing and active participant in the ouster events”.
The document also names veteran casino executive Steve Wolstenholme – said to have been “during the material dates” a director of Tiger Resort – as one of those having allegedly “betrayed” Mr Okada by using their position to “facilitate” the entrepreneur’s removal.
Additionally named in Mr Okada’s affidavit are: Kenshi Asano, at the time a Tiger Resort director and an executive officer of Universal Entertainment; Antonio Cojuangco; Manuel Lazaro; Reynaldo David; Yoshinao Negishi – all directors at the time; Kenji Sugiyama, at the time Tiger Resort chief security officer; and Michelle Lazaro, at the relevant time corporate secretary of Tiger Resort.
Jan 26, 2021Macau casino-sector earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) could return to 2019 levels “as soon as” the fourth quarter of this year, “partly helped by...
"The travel impediments [in mainland China] will lead to reduced visitation into Macau for the next few weeks at least, with Chinese New Year visitation being impacted"
Vitaly Umansky, Tianjiao Yu and Kelsey Zhu
Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd