REPRESENTATIVE DIRECTOR AND PRESIDENT
POWER SCORE: 747
POSITION LAST YEAR: 38
CLAIMS TO FAME
• Heads only Japanese company to operate its own integrated resort
• Took control of Philippine listed company for an anticipated IR listing
• Considering renaming Okada Manila, the eponymous brainchild of Universal’s founder Fujimoto deposed in 2017
AS Jun Fujimoto and his team ponder changing the name of Okada Manila – currently headlining Universal Entertainment founder Kazuo Okada, who Fujimoto and allies including Okada family members ousted in 2017 – they might consider rechristening the projected US$2.8 billion IR as Deliberate.
Since its soft opening in December 2016, through a US$2.4 billion cash infusion from Wynn Resorts last year to settle the 2012 forced redemption of its shares, the IR’s first phase remains incomplete. Despite acquiring Asiabest Group International in February for a Philippine Stock Exchange listing, IR local vehicle Tiger Resort Asia still isn’t trading.
Nevertheless, Okada Manila keeps gaining gaming traction. For the first eight months of this year, gross gaming revenue reached Php24.8 billion (US$479 million), up 49% from a year ago. Across nearly 400 tables and 2,600 machines, VIP led the way up 56%, with mass table revenue growing 48% and machine revenue ahead 38% as average daily visitation rose from 12,250 to 15,800.
The key Universal long game for Okada Manila is a Japan IR license. As its casino management skill grows, adding to pachinko and pachislot machine manufacturing experience, Universal becomes a more attractive piece for a Japan consortium. Proving it can finish an IR couldn’t hurt either.