Jan 312013

MANILA, Philippines – Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada, whose company will build a casino complex along Manila Bay, has sought for an investigation of Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s chairman.

Bloomberg reported that Okada wanted directors to probe the actions of company chairman Steve Wynn in securing a casino concession in Macau.

In a Jan. 24 letter to the board of directors of Wynn Resorts, Okada said the Cotai project raises “serious questions about the propriety of the actions taken by Mr. Wynn, the company, and its affiliates in pursuing” it.

Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts wants to remove Okada from its board.

Okada and former business partner Wynn are in a bitter corporate feud, which started when the Japanese pachinko businessman questioned the $135-million donation pledged by Wynn Macau Ltd., a Macau subsidiary of Wynn Resorts in Macau. Both businessmen continue to trade barbs, accusing the other of questionable payments to public officials in Asia including the Philippines.

Okada’s Tiger Resorts & Leisure Corp. entered into a partnership with Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corp. to jointly develop a $2-billion hotel and casino complex in the 100-hectare Entertainment City along Roxas Blvd.

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Tiger Resorts is one of four groups that were granted a license by the Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp. to operate a casino on a reclaimed land along Manila Bay, which the government expects to turn into the world’s number two gaming destination ahead of Singapore and Las Vegas and behind only Macau.

In July, Okada took in Empire East Land & Holdings Inc. of property tycoon Andrew Tan as partner to take charge of the residential component of the planned integrated resort. Empire East will build a P45-billion upscale residential condominium complex, comprising more than 25 residential towers, marking its first foray into the high-end property market.                                                       

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