Gaming entrepreneur Kazuo Okada (pictured) has lost a bid to overturn a judicial order in the United States linked to his 2012 ejection from the board of casino operator Wynn Resorts Ltd. He was seeking to avoid going to the U.S. for a deposition with Wynn Resorts lawyers.
The Nevada Supreme Court on Thursday refused to overturn a lower court’s order that requires Japanese businessman Mr Okada to answer questions in person during 10 days of scheduled deposition hearings in the U.S., reported Bloomberg News.
Mr Okada 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.
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.
That year Wynn Resorts had alleged in a filing to Nasdaq that Mr Okada had engaged in activities in pursuit of his own casino licence in the Philippines that made him “unsuitable” to be a shareholder of Wynn Resorts, a Nevada-regulated casino business. The allegations included claims Mr Okada had breached U.S. anti-bribery laws by providing gifts and things of value to officials at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp – that country’s casino regulator – at a time he was seeking a casino licence in Manila.
Mr Okada has strongly denied wrongdoing and has since been seeking to clear his name and recover money lost in the redemption haircut, including via lawsuits against Wynn Resorts in the United States.
Following allegations made by Wynn Resorts, Mr Okada and his company have been investigated in the U.S., the Philippines and in Japan. His side says no wrongdoing has been identified in those investigations.
Mr Okada’s Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc confirmed to GGRAsia by email in late September that it has been given a construction timetable extension for its Manila Bay Resorts casino venue in the Philippines and that the “projected opening of the property will be December 2016”.
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