Inside Asian Gaming

NOVEMBER 2018 INSIDE ASIAN GAMING 33 FEATURES At the beginning, things were working very well. I think [Steve Wynn] appreciated the fact that I was a relatively silent investor, not complaining very much, not putting too much input into things. Steve Wynn and Kazuo Okada started Wynn Resorts as 50-50 partners. K AZUO Okada and Steve Wynn jointly created Wynn Resorts. In February 2012, Wynn Resorts directors removed Okada as vice chairman and redeemed Universal Entertainment’s 20% stake at a US$900 million discount, payable over 10 years, accusing Okada of granting improper hospitality to Philippine government officials. Okada’s ouster initiated a legal battle that ended with a settlement in March this year. With their founders sidelined under different yet equally extraordinary circumstances, the companies settled with Universal receiving US$2.6 billion for its shares. Wynn also dropped its lawsuit against Okada, alleging misconduct as a director. Okada says that if he still ran Universal he would have wanted the shares back, making Universal Wynn’s largest shareholder again. In this second installment of excerpts from his three- hour-plus interview with Inside Asian Gaming Editor at Large Muhammad Cohen, Okada recounts his history with Steve Wynn, who called Okada his best friend then removed him from their company.