Universal Entertainment Takes Control of Okada Manila

According to a new announcement on Sunday, Universal Entertainment Japan said its local agent in the Philippines has taken over the operations of Okada Manila Casino in what the company said was “the latest move in a long-standing ownership dispute.”

In a statement with a copy of the local gaming authority’s order dated Sept. 2, the group said the $3.3 billion acquisition of Southeast Asia’s largest gaming resort was “generally peaceful.”

Regulatory Agency, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. (PAGCOR) in its order said it was revoking the endorsement of the board members of Okada Manila-based developer and operator Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment, previously installed by a group including Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada. In addition, regulators ordered Okada’s Philippine subsidiary to cease operations at the casino and withdraw funds from the property’s vault.

According to an April ruling by the Philippines Supreme Court, which restored the pachinko tycoon as chairman, shareholder and director of Tiger Resort, only Okada himself will be recognized from now on, PAGCOR said. Okada was ousted from the boards of Tiger Resorts and Universal in 2017.

The Okada Group and its Filipino associates said on Sunday that PAGCOR had violated the Supreme Court’s order and that they would take legal action on the matter, Reuters reported, without giving any further details on the matter.
In a statement released Saturday after PAGOR’s order, Okada Manila said it was “business as usual” at the resort.

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