Controversy surrounds Kazuo Okada’s return to Okada Manila

The Philippines Court of Appeals dismissed fraud charges against Okada.
The Philippines Court of Appeals dismissed fraud charges against Okada.

Tiger Resort Leisure Entertainment claims a group linked to Kazuo Okada has taken over the casino by force.

The Philippines.- Kazuo Okada has reportedly taken back control of Okada Manila, and the legitimacy of the move is being questioned. Tiger Resort Leisure Entertainment claims that a group linked to the Japanese billionaire used brute force and intimidation to force legitimate officers to vacate the casino premises.

The company says a group led by former board member Tonyboy Cojuangco arrived with about 50 private guards and police officers who claimed they were authorised by a court order to take over the Okada Manila complex.

Kazuo Okada has been involved in a long-running legal dispute. In June 2017, he and COO Takahiro Usui were kicked off the board of Tiger Resort Leisure Entertainment. The company then accused Okada of misusing company funds. Okada was also removed from the board of parent company Universal Japan Entertainment, which brought three fraud charges against him.

However, in January the Philippines Court of Appeals dismissed fraud charges against Okada. In April 2022, the Supreme Court of the Philippines issued a “status quo ante” order (SQAO) that recognised Kazuo Okada as the sole representative of Tiger Resort Asia Limited in Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment, and ordered his reinstatement as shareholder, director, chairman and CEO. 

On May 2, 2022, Okada re-installed the board of directors and officers, and this was apparently recognised by PAGCOR as the legitimate board consistent with the SQAO. However, according to the opponents of Okada’s return, they have filed an appeal and are waiting for the Supreme Court to decide whether to decide whether or not to overturn or reconsider the order.

The company said operations continue as usual.

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