November 16, 2022 Philippines
Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp, the founding parent of the Okada Manila casino resort in the Philippines, says it expects to record an extraordinary loss of approximately JPY1.6 billion (US$11.4 million) in the third quarter this year, associated with what it called the “illegal occupation” of the casino complex for three months from May 31, by people acting on behalf of the group’s own ousted founder Kazuo Okada.
The figure was based on estimated losses incorporating business disruption linked to the occupation, net of claims by Universal Entertainment on amounts it expects to be able to recover. It mentioned the matter in its second-quarter report – covering the period from April 1 to June 30 this year –posted on Monday. It added that JPY20 million in losses for that quarter could be directly linked to the occupation.
Okada Manila (pictured), part of the Entertainment City zone in the Philippine capital, is operated by Universal Entertainment unit Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, Inc (TRLEI). Mr Okada has been disputing control of that unit.
Universal Entertainment was affirmed as in control of Okada Manila in early September. It coincided with a resolution by the Philippine casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) that directed Mr Okada’s local representatives to stop operating the casino there, and to stop disbursing funds from the property’s coffers.
“During the occupation of Okada Manila by Mr Okada and a group acting under his instructions, which took place from May 31 to September 1, 2022, TRLEI executives were fired, employees who did not follow [his side’s] orders were fired,” Universal Entertainment stated in its quarterly report.
The Japanese firm also said of Mr Okada’s physical takeover of the resort property: “…contracts and other TRLEI documents that can be used as evidence were taken to a different location, some physical assets were improperly acquired (some cash handled at the casino cage was taken to a different location), and there are suspicions that digital data were altered.”
Mr Okada’s side has denied impropriety.
A Manila court decision dated October 18 denied an attempt by Mr Okada to quash “grave coercion” and other charges against him, relating to his May 31 physical takeover of the gaming venue, Universal Entertainment said last month.