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Universal Entertainment Takes Over Okada Manila Casino
After a long dispute between the two factions, the Universal Entertainment corporation in Japan announced on Sunday (September 4) that they are taking over operations at the Okada Manila Casino in the Philippines. This ends a long-standing ownership dispute between the two.
A spokesperson for Universal made a statement describing the deal as peaceful. He also further went on to give the amount of money spent on the takeover, which, in U.S. dollars would amount to around $3.3 billion. This makes it the most expensive casino takeover in all of Southeast Asia.
The Philippines Response
The former Okada Manila Casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) released a statement that it would be withdrawing its recognition of board members from the Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, an operator of the Okada Manila Casino, established by Kazuo Okada, a Japanese tycoon and business owner.
The Philippine corporation also asked the Filipino partners involved with Okada to stop disbursing funds from the property, and just generally stop operating the casino. PAGCOR did this in recognition of Okada, who they said would be the only one who is recognized from here on out, in compliance with an order issued by the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
Kazuo Okada’s Sordid History
In 2017, the Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment corp, as well as Universal, ousted Kazuo Okada from the board. However, a recent Supreme Court order was issued, which would put Kazuo Okada back in charge. PAGCOR claimed they would obey this order.
However, just a few days ago, Okada and his Filipino associates claimed that PAGCOR is defying the Supreme Court. They further claimed that they would be taking legal action against the corporation. However, they did not elaborate and have not commented on anything further.
PAGCOR authorized a notice released by Okada Manila Casino, issued on September 3. According to the notice, the casino claims that the casino remains active and that business is usual. The 108-acre resort is thriving, as it has been for the past 6 years.
The casino and resort began operations at the tail end of 2016. It offers over 900 suites, over 3000 slot and video poker machines, and over 500 table games. All these numbers make it the biggest out of the four multi-billion-dollar resorts and casinos that operate in the Philippine capital.
The Philippine gaming industry is one of the biggest and most thriving in Asia, and Okada Manila Casino is among the biggest establishments in the capital.