The focus of opposing factions seeking to assert control over the Okada Manila casino resort (pictured in a file photo) has moved from court proceedings to a dispute regarding which side could claim responsibility for the property’s June GGR performance.
A press conference in the Philippines on Monday given by representatives of Okada Manila’s previously-ousted founder, Kazuo Okada, claimed that since his interests had occupied and physically taken over the gaming and leisure property in Entertainment City Manila, on May 31, its business performance had been “even better than pre-pandemic figures”, citing casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) for June as being 4 percent higher than June 2019. In the latter month, under Univeral Entertainment Corp’s management, Okada Manila’s GGR had risen 26 percent year-on-year.
The Universal Entertainment side, which had run the property up to May 31, issued a press release on Monday in response, accusing Mr Okada’s representatives of holding a “baseless and deceitful” press conference, and engaging in “credit grabbing” by claiming responsibility for Okada Manila’s business performance.
The Universal Entertainment side said any sustainability in business performance of the resort was due to what it termed its “legitimate board” having approved a “recovery and sustainability programme” to allow Okada Manila “to grow and flourish after suffering from the adverse effects of the community quarantines,” linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.
After the May 31 takeover, the Universal Entertainment camp had said Mr Okada’s side had “illegally and violently” taken over the site. The Universal Entertainment side is seeking via the Philippine Supreme Court to overturn the situation.
Mr Okada has justified his steps by citing an April order from the Supreme Court that he said restored him to the board of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI). The Universal Entertainment side says it still controls TRLEI.
Mr Okada founded Japanese entertainment conglomerate Universal Entertainment and led it until 2017, when he was ousted after being accused of fraud, allegations he denies.
In 2017, Mr Okada had also been ousted from the board of TRLEI, the operating entity of Okada Manila, and TRLEI’s immediate parent, privately-held Hong Kong company Tiger Resort Asia.
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