Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has denied suggestions by Universal Entertainment Corp (UEC) – the parent company of Okada Manila operator Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) – that it has shown bias towards Kazuo Okada in an intra-corporate dispute.
A group representing Kazuo Okada took control of Okada Manila last week after around 50 private guards, police officers and city officials stormed the property to enforce a Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) recently issued by the Supreme Court of the Philippines ordering restoration of the composition of the board of directors of TRLEI to its 2017 line-up, before a dispute that saw Kazuo Okada removed from the UEC board.
PAGCOR has since confirmed it was also present during the takeover for “the purpose of protecting the interests of PAGCOR and the Government, and to ensure that operations are not disrupted and the welfare of the playing patrons is ensured.” However, this prompted UEC to accuse the regulator of “manifest bias” and “an act of graft and corruption under Republic Act [No.] 3019” for allegedly shedding its neutrality in the matter.
PAGCOR denied the accusation on Monday, issuing a statement in which it “emphasized its neutrality … in light of news reports accusing the regulator that it is biased in favor of the group of Mr Kazuo Okada.
“PAGCOR has only recognized and will only recognize the orders of the Supreme Court and will exercise its authority as regulator without violating or disrupting the SQAO and other orders issued by the Supreme Court,” it said.
“All that PAGCOR did was to follow the law and court processes.”
The regulator added that it does not wish to comment further, stating, “since the issues between the parties are sub-judice, we fear that the court will find us in contempt if we do so.”