38 Jun Fujimoto
REPRESENTATIVE DIRECTOR AND CEO
POWER SCORE: 691
POSITION LAST YEAR: 41
CLAIMS TO FAME
Pachinko machine manufacturer owns Okada Manila, the largest integrated resort in the Philippine capital
Only Japanese company to operate its own IR
Universal has opted to keep Okada Manila, the most expensive integrated resort in the Philippine capital’s Entertainment City district, even though the property was the brainchild of ousted Universal founder Kazuo Okada.
Universal President Jun Fujimoto, whose professional expertise is Universal’s dominant pachinko machine business, apparently agrees with experts that being the only Japanese company operating an IR on its own could be a golden ticket to a Japan IR license. Universal’s Philippines subsidiary Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment recently opened an office in Japan to investigate IR opportunities.
In June, Universal appointed investment banker Byron Yip as Okada Manila’s chief operating officer. There’s been substantial progress toward completing the IR’s US$2.8 billion first phase including roughly 1,000 guest rooms, up to 500 gaming tables and 3,000 EGMs plus dining and retail around the world’s largest dancing fountain.
Kazuo Okada still looms. In an interview with Inside Asian Gaming published in October, Okada pledged to take back Universal. Daughter Hiromi Okada, who sat beside her father during the interview, controls a 9.78% swing stake in Okada Holdings, the Hong Kong entity that owns 67.9% of Universal. After joining her brother to remove their father, Hiromi now says she’ll vote to restore him. Hong Kong courts are considering whether she can.
For the full list of 2018 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.