The President of Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR said Wednesday that the agency is only concerned with ensuring operations continue at Okada Manila following a physical takeover of the property by a group representing Kazuo Okada this week.
Alfredo Lim initially told media outlet Reuters that he was “shocked to read there was violence and intimidation” of executives on Tuesday night after the Okada group and around 50 security guards and police officers stormed the building. But after PAGCOR met on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the issue, Lim described the transition of power as being “smooth”, adding, “Our only concern in this corporate squabble between contending stockholders is that the operation is not disturbed.”
His comments come after the Okada camp issued a statement of its own denying reports of violence and claiming that PAGCOR representatives had in fact been present to witness Tuesday’s takeover.
“Contrary to news reports, there is no truth to the allegation that representatives of Kazuo Okada, made up of ’50 goons’ conducted a ‘violent’ and ‘illegal’ takeover on 31 May 2022,” it said.
“The fact of the matter is that Mr Okada’s representatives included members of the Philippine National Police, four Sheriffs and was witnessed by representatives of PAGCOR.”
Inside Asian Gaming has reached out to PAGCOR for further comment.
Some sources at Okada Manila told IAG that all Japanese staff have been suspended by the Kazuo Okada Group and that expats have not been paid for the month of May. Okada Manila’s parent company is Japanese gaming conglomerate Universal Entertainment Corp, which dismissed former Chairman and CEO Kazuo Okada in 2017 amid allegations of fraud.
IAG was also told that all board members of Okada Manila operator Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) had their company phones cut off, and that the IT, HR and Finance departments had been taken over with guards stationed outside doors. Some staff, including the former head of security, were still being walked out as of Wednesday afternoon, the source said.