Inside Asian Gaming

INSIDE ASIAN GAMING OCTOBER 2018 20 COVER STORY it happened, why it happened … I had to ask myself, “Did I do something that horrible or mean, that unforgivable, to my son?” We’re family, so I had a place within my heart that I’m going to discuss this through. And then in the extraordinary directors’ meeting on 23 May, I brought up issuing new shares. The Okada Manila project was progressing, it needed additional funding. I wanted to purchase those additional shares. If my son and daughter combined themselves they would have about 52% [of Okada Holdings], so the difference from the amount that I’m holding right now which is 46.4% ... if enough shares were bought to increase [my total to more than theirs], then the situation would resolve itself. MC: You’re talking about a new issue of shares by Universal, rather than buying shares on the market which you could do without anybody’s approval? KO: That’s a good point. But again the discussion was that the Okada Manila project was going to be requiring additional funds and it would be a capital infusion to bring in more funds. It would be better to issue more stock and to bring in new funds instead He said, They said K AZUO Okada claims that rogue Universal Entertainment employees orchestrated alleged legal and ethical violations that led to his ouster from the company he founded. He singles out Universal President Jun Fujimoto as the ringleader of a multiyear, multilevel plot against him. Universal denies the conspiracy allegations, refusing comment beyond a spokesperson asking Inside Asian Gaming , “Did Mr Okada show you any evidence for his claims? We do have many for our complaints.” Universal removed Okada as chairman in June last year, citing three financial transactions it claims benefited him at the expense of the company. Okada calls those charges “a sham” and traces his ouster to Universal turning his children against him. To back those claims, Okada’s public relations team provided a 2,940 word document of allegations against Universal but did not make its Hong Kong legal team available for questions or explanations. “Enough mud has been thrown to ensure that some of it sticks,” Kazuo Okada , Universal Entertainment trade accusations of financial misconduct Newpage Consulting Principal David Green, a former Australian gaming regulator, says of accusations against Okada. “As a regulator, you would need to ensure procedural fairness in any hearing regarding suitability. That doesn’t just involve giving Okada a chance to tell his story; it also involves giving those accused of conspiring against him the opportunity to tell theirs.” Here’s a rundown of Okada and Universal’s competing claims and ongoing battles. UNIVERSAL’S INTERNAL INVESTIGATION OF OKADA The 30 August 2017 report on the results of Universal’s internal investigation, following Okada’s May suspension as chairman, claims he committed “three acts of fraudulence ... for his own personal benefit ... an extreme intermingling of private and pubic affairs and ... [there was] a serious lack of ethics that one should naturally have as a director of a listed company.” Universal alleges unauthorized loans of US$135 million to Goldluck Technology and US$80 million through a Korean subsidiary, as well as an unauthorized withdrawal of US$16 million, all via Philippine subsidiary Tiger Resorts Asia. Universal is suing Okada in Tokyo over these alleged acts. Tiger also is suing Okada in Hong Kong, seeking US$17.4 million in compensation. Okada’s summons for questioning by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption in July reportedly stemmed from these allegations. Okada claims company minutes show that Tiger’s board authorized the loan to Goldluck. He adds that a Universal director introduced him to Goldluck executive Li Jian, contending Universal set him up to make the loan then blamed him for making it.