Court Denies Okada’s Appeal against PAGCOR

Japanese billionaire and founder of the Okada Manila Casino Resort Kazuo Okada is not giving up on the fight over the control of the resort that easily. Okada recently made an attempt to block the decision by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to reinstate the board of directors of the resort’s operator Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI), which was backed by Tiger Resort Asia Limited (TRAL).

Kazuo Okada Refuses to Surrender Okada Manila

Kazuo Okada filed a petition to the Philippines’ Court of Appeals against PAGCOR and TRAL to stop them from making any changes to the Okada-backed TRLEI board, which was reinstated back in May following a status quo ante order from the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

The Court of Appeals did not grant approval to the petition on the grounds that it did not have authority.

On September 2, PAGCOR made an order reinstating Byron Yip as president and CEO of TRLEI and the rest of the TRAL-backed board, which effectively forced Okada and his group to hand over the Okada Manila Casino Resort back to the ousted board.

However, the Court of Appeals ordered that Kazuo Okada must not be stopped from accessing and reviewing any documents that represent records, financial statements, contracts, etc. and are in connection with the business operations of TRLEI or its parent companies Okada Holdings Limited and Universal Entertainment Corp (UEC). Okada and his representatives must also be allowed access to documentation relating to the upcoming listing of TRLEI in the US, which will be done through a SPAC merger.

The Saga of the Control over Okada Manila

The problems around the Okada Manila Casino Resort started at the end of May when Kazuo Okada together with a group of his representatives organized a physical takeover of the resort. They based their actions on a Supreme Court status quo ante order, which reinstated the TRLEI board back to the way it was in 2017.

The takeover, duped “hostile” by the opposing side, sparked a series of public statements and filed lawsuits.

Firstly, TRAL, the legal owner of TRLEI, which owns 99% of the Okada Manila Casino Resort operator, took the matter to court by filing a motion for clarification against the actions of the Okada group. TRAL also released a public advisory, which made it clear that all business operations performed by the Okada group on behalf of TRLEI will be deemed illegitimate.

UEC also got involved by urging the Supreme Court to reverse the status quo ante order.

Finally, PAGCOR got involved and ordered the Okada group to hand the casino venue back to its legitimate board of directors.