Casino News

Kazuo Okada Scandalously Removed from the Board of Okada Manila by Tiger Resorts

The Japanese casino tycoon Kazuo Okada was dismissed from his position as the head of Universal Entertainment Corp, following an extensive investigation into the alleged 2 billion Japanese Yen (or US$18.15 million) illegal fund outflows.

He had recently started a new project for an integrated resort in the currently developing Entertainment City by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. However, as it turns out the subsidiary Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. has called a meeting during which the people in charge voted to remove him as chairman of the company.

The reason behind this sudden decision is their professional misconduct – both Mr. Okada and a fellow director of the company were accused of “a serious violation of governance”. In March 2015 a loan of HK$135 million (US$17.3 million) was transferred from a Hong Kong subsidiary of the group called Tiger Resort Asia Ltd. Justice Manuel Lazaro was the one who made the decision to remove him permanently from the company official.

Meanwhile, Kenji Sugiyama was placed in the position of president of the casino operator and he will have the control over it. The rest of the people responsible for the casino remain the same – Mr. Antonio Cojuangco, Mr. Rey David and Mr. Steve Wolstenholme will continue being Directors.

Kazuo Okada was voted #18 in Forbes’ Japan’s 50 Richest in 2017 and he is #15 in the billionaires chart in Japan. Okada currently lives in Hong Kong and at the time of his dismissal he owned 74% of Universal Entertainment Corp (formerly known as Aruze Corp). In 2005 together with the casino mogul Steve Wynn, he opened his first casino in Las Vegas, followed by a second one in Macau in 2006.

After Wynn refused to work with him on his next project in 2008, Okada established his own company Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. Its purpose is to further develop his plan to build the property in Manila. There were allegations that he was removed from the position of Director of Wynn Resort in 2012, because he tried to bribe Philippine gaming officials with meals and drinks while they were in Las Vegas and Macau.

Okada revealed its name in 2016 – the Okada Manila integrated casino with a hotel, resort and a casino is worth $2.4 billion. This is his biggest and bravest investment so far and his bets were quite high with it. The hotel opened in March 2017 and it boasts 993 rooms, 9,000 square meters entertainment venue with a night and an indoor beach club, and 21 self-operated restaurants. Even more impressive are the 800-meter glass corridor and the $30 million dancing fountain.