In the Philippines and the Department of Justice has reportedly announced that it is to file criminal charges against Japanese casino magnate Kazuo Okada following his attempted late-May takeover of the Okada Manila property.
According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the Asian nation’s highest law enforcement body has issued a resolution informing the octogenarian of its intention to indict after a group of his allies stormed the 993-room Entertainment City property on May 31. The source explained that this band led by Antonio ‘Tonyboy’ Cojuangco was purportedly seeking to appropriate the venue on behalf of Okada after the Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled that the entrepreneur was once again entitled to lead the board of its Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated operator.
Opened in December of 2016 by Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated, the 108-acre Okada Manila property is home to a 284,283 sq ft casino offering over 3,000 slots as well as some 500 gaming tables. The $2.4 billion development also plays host to the world’s largest multi-color dancing fountain alongside the Cove Manila indoor beach club, a luxury spa and a 90,510 sq ft shopping center.
Okada was reportedly angered in 2017 when he was expelled from the board of Manila-headquartered Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated following allegations that he had misappropriated around $3 million. However, the Osaka-born businessman celebrated in May when the Supreme Court of the Philippines purportedly ruled against this ousting by the operator’s Universal Entertainment Corporation parent and ordered the subsidiary to reconstitute its pre-discharged executive team.
This decision reportedly prompted former board members Cojuangco and Dindo Espeleta to join with local lawyer Florentino ‘Binky’ Herrera III in attempting to seize control of the 15-story Okada Manila facility. During this organized raid by up to 50 people and Universal Entertainment Corporation purportedly claimed that approximately $2.2 million went missing from the venue’s casino cage while its employees were subjected to ‘brute force and intimidation’ alongside illegal detention.
This takeover action was only invalidated last month via a cease-and-desist order from the nation’s Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) regulator while the Department of Justice reportedly asserted that the entire affair had seen the four named defendants exceed the intentions of the May ruling. The resolution purportedly moreover proclaimed that Okada, Cojuangco, Espeleta and Herrera were ‘deemed to have taken the law into their hands’ by undertaking an ‘unlawful plan to take control and possession of Okada Manila.’
Reportedly read the Department of Justice’s resolution…
“The group illegally magnified the simple and general directive from the Supreme Court of the Philippines to maintain order in the business affairs and operations of Okada Manila. Overdoing a given authority is tantamount to taking advantage of, if not deemed a licentious action, as a means to attain an end goal and the respondents should act within the confines of the law and not resort to the commission of a felony.”