CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of Chris Sieroty

Gaming Guru

Chris Sieroty
 

Kazuo Okada summoned to Nevada Gaming Control Board hearing

12 March 2013

LAS VEGAS -- Kazuo Okada, chairman of Universal Entertainment Corporation, and three other directors of the Japanese gaming company will be in Las Vegas next week for a closed-door hearing with Nevada gaming regulators, the Review-Journal has learned.

The hearing is another step in the investigation the Nevada State Gaming Control Board Gaming Commission launched last year into allegations of $40 million in payments to Rodolfo Soriano, a consultant to Universal Entertainment's casino project in the Philippines.

Separately, the FBI and the Philippines' National Bureau of Investigation have been scrutinizing the allegations of payments to Soriano, Reuters reported Thursday. Universal Entertainment has said it acted lawfully in the Philippines.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board declined to comment. A Universal Entertainment spokeswoman also declined to comment.

In addition to Okada, the three-member board has summoned Hajime Tokuda, Kenshi Asano and Hiroyuki Sawada to the hearing scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. All four Universal Entertainment officials plan to attend, the Review-Journal has learned.

None of the four individuals has been accused of any wrongdoing.

Okada and Wynn Resorts Ltd. CEO Steve Wynn have been locked in a heavyweight legal battle for more than a year, during which the former friends and business partners have accused each other of illegal conduct.

Okada resigned last month from Wynn Resorts' board of directors a day ahead of a shareholders meeting to remove him on the grounds he was "unsuitable."

The Japanese billionaire continues to fight to recover his 20 percent stake in Wynn Resorts. The Las Vegas-based gaming company seized the stake last year at a 30 percent discount, giving Okada a 10-year promissory note valued at $1.9 billion.

Okada contended Wynn Resorts' decision last month to amend its lawsuit was a victory. The company retracted some allegations, including misappropriating trade secrets, made in a lawsuit filed Feb. 19, 2012.

In a statement, Wynn Resorts said the decision to amend the complaint does not change their view of Okada's actions.

"It only illustrates our desire to focus at this time upon the breaches of fiduciary duty owed to our company," Wynn Resorts said. "The claim for theft of our trade secrets and proprietary business information will be ripe if and when Okada puts them to use in his Philippine casino or elsewhere."

Okada holds four casino licenses in the Philippines granted in 2008 and 2009 to build and operate a multibillion dollar Manila gambling and entertainment complex. The government is counting on Okada's project and three other gambling developments - known as Pagcor Entertainment City - to compete with Macau and Singapore.