Japanese gambling giant Universal Entertainment Corporation has announced the signing of a ‘basic agreement’ that will see it establish a Hong Kong-based joint venture with China Guangcai International Investment Group Company Limited to sell gaming machines and equipment throughout southeast Asia.

Tokyo-listed Universal Entertainment Corporation operates the Okada Manila integrated casino resort in the Philippines via its Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated subsidiary and described China Guangcai International Investment Group Company Limited as ‘one of China’s leading nationally-owned finance conglomerates’ that invests in ‘national level projects’ spanning areas such as finance and the development of resources and minerals.

Universal Entertainment Corporation, which is currently suing Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada and his Aruze Gaming America Incorporated slot and electronic table games manufacturing entity for an alleged breach of contract, stated that the coming 50/50 partnership is to be named Hong Kong Guangcai Universal Entertainment Limited and will have the ‘exclusive right of sales under said sales and maintenance business for casino-related devices and systems in all southeast Asian countries minus the Philippines’.

The Japanese firm further declared that Hong Kong Guangcai Universal Entertainment Limited will work to provide maintenance services for ‘casino-related devices and systems developed by the company’ while endeavoring to expand its presence to ‘other casino-related businesses’.

“We believe that the cooperative relationship with the internationally-proven [China Guangcai International Investment Group Company Limited] will contribute to expanding our casino-related business,” read a statement from Universal Entertainment Group. “Whether or not the joint venture will become a consolidated subsidiary of the company is undecided at this stage.”

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