The Philippines Department of Justice recommended coercion charges against Japanese gambling billionaire Kazuo Okada in relation to the May takeover of Okada Manila.
The DoJ’s 25-page filing follows complaints from officers of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment (TRLEI), the operator of the Entertainment City resort.
Local media reports that the DoJ concurred that the Okada team prevented officers of TRLEI from performing their duties and there was therefore a basis for charges. It rejected complaints of injuries, kidnapping and unjust vexation.
The dispute over ownership of the resort stems back to 2017 when Okada was ousted from the board of TRLEI on charges of corruption. He has been fighting to regain control ever since and earlier this year won a status quo ante order from the Philippines’ Supreme Court. That order stipulated that the board should be restored to its 2017 state.
As a result, a team led by Okada’s associates in the Philippines and backed by security entered the resort on May 31st and removed the board and its directors from power.
The DoJ argued that Okada and his officials had taken the law into their own hands.
“Evidently, there is prima facie showing that respondents did not act under authority of law and/or went in excess of a lawful right,” the reports said. “They have no right to take the law into their hands and deprive the complainants of their right as directors and officers of TRLEI,” the reports said.
The saga took another turn at the beginning of September when the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) ordered control to be returned to president and chief operating officer Byron Yip and his team.
SPAC merger delayed
TRLEI is planning a listing for Okada Manila through a merger with 26 Capital, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company. TRLEI’s parent company, Universal Entertainment said on Friday that plans for that merger and listing have now been pushed back until September next year.
Universal said the decision had taken into consideration that it would take time to normalise the operating structure after it regained control.
Okada Manila is the newest and largest integrated resort in Manila’s Entertainment City.
THE 300 SPARTANS:
After triumphing in key locations across Asia and Europe, AGS is flying 300 top affiliates to Malta, for an all inclusive deluxe trip. The event will happen alongside SiGMA, 14-18th November, during SiGMA Europe.
Read more about the 300 Spartans here.