Gaming Okada at risk of losing Nevada link

Kazuo Okada

Following this month’s publication of a Japanese pachinko and arcade games manufacturer’s note to the JASDAQ Securities Exchange, Kazuo Okada’s corporate lifetime may be in jeopardy.

As the Times reported earlier, the Japanese billionaire and former company chairman of Tokyo-based Universal Entertainment Corporation has been suspended from the board of his own company pending an investigation into an alleged illegal outflow of HKD135 million. The transaction was made from a company subsidiary to an external third party in March 2015.

The ousting of Okada may not be the final blow for the septuagenarian tycoon, who is currently horns with U.S. casino magnate Steve Wynn over alleged illegal payments made to Asian gaming regulators.

He is now under investigation by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, jeopardizing his entire association with Las Vegas, the world’s second largest gambling hub.

Moreover, analysts are warning of a spillover effect that could spell the end of Okada. If his license to work with Nevada casinos is terminated, other jurisdictions will follow suit, they warn.

According to the Nevada Independent, the Universal board’s swift motion to expel Okada may bode well for the company, but will isolate the tycoon in his defense against the investigations.

“The impact on the founder’s reputation figures to be far greater,” the digital news publication noted.

Okada, who once owned a 20 percent share in Wynn Resorts, was expelled from the Nevada-based company in 2012 with his stake forcibly redeemed at a discount rate.

Wynn and Okada have taken the matter to court. The former has asked the district court of Clark County, Nevada to validate the sale, while the Japanese billionaire is fighting to restore his stake. Okada is also claiming that his dismissal from the company was unjustified.

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