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Universal Entertainment Announces Casino Businesses “Organizational Realignment” to Keep Kazuo Okada Away

Japanese gaming machine manufacturer and casino operator Universal Entertainment Corporation announced Monday that it would undertake an “organizational realignment” within the corporation to prevent its founder and former Chairman Kazuo Okada and other “unsuitable individuals” from assuming a business execution role.

The move comes a year after Mr. Okada was ousted from the company’s board over allegations of fraudulent money transfers carried out by the businessman and a former Universal Entertainment Director. It was found that on one occasion the gaming company’s founder had extended the amount of HK$135 million as a loan to a third-party business, which had turned out to be related to Mr. Okada himself. The transfer had been completed without any specific approval from the company’s board and had benefited Mr. Okada.

Aside from a gaming manufacturing business, Universal Entertainment also owns Tiger Resort Asia Ltd., known to be a company related to Philippines-based Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, the operator of the Okada Manila hotel and casino resort in the capital Manila.

Universal Entertainment said in a Monday filing to the JASDAQ Stock Exchange that it wants to prevent “unsuitable individuals” from participating namely in its casino-related businesses. The company did not name Mr. Okada as an unsuitable individual, but referred to the businessman’s legal troubles as a result from the improper money transfer reports from last summer. Mr. Okada was forced to quit the board of the Okada Manila operator last year after the allegations against him emerged.

Organizational Realignment

As part of its planned organizational realignment, Universal Entertainment will bring its casino-related businesses under a single parent company – Limited Liability Company ABC. The company in question is currently a subsidiary of WonderGraph CORP., which is in turn a subsidiary of Universal Entertainment.

After the organizational realignment is completed, Limited Liability Company will become a direct subsidiary of Universal Entertainment.

The company further pointed out that it is making the necessary preparations to begin manufacturing and selling casino-related devices, including player-tracking systems, automatically-managed gaming tables and machines, and other products through a US-based subsidiary that is yet to be established. As a result, Universal Entertainment needs to obtain the necessary licenses in the United States.

Here it is important to note that the Nevada Gaming Control Board launched a probe into Mr. Okada last summer to investigate the allegations against him. Mr. Okada and several affiliated companies including Aruze Gaming America and Aruze USA, both operating as suppliers of technology for casinos, were holding licenses from the gaming regulator. These, too, will be operated by Limited Liability Company once the organizational realignment is complete.

Universal Entertainment said that the planned reorganization will be conducted in several stages starting from this month. It is yet to be seen when exactly it will be concluded.

Updated: 25.06.2018 — 20:24

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