Okada quits Wynn board


05:07 AM February 24th, 2013

February 24th, 2013 05:07 AM

DURING happier times, Kazuo Okada and Steve Wynn. AP FILE PHOTO

WASHINGTON—Japanese gambling tycoon Kazuo Okada announced Thursday he was resigning from the board of casino operator Wynn Resorts, a day before the company’s board was expected to oust him.

Okada blasted Wynn’s founder and chief executive Steve Wynn for plotting to discredit him and force him out of the company, and repeated allegations made earlier about the misuse of company funds in its Macau venture.

“I no longer believe it is appropriate for me to serve on the board of directors of a company that is behaving in a manner that I deeply believe to be unethical,” Okada said in a statement.

Once close partners, with Okada having provided some $260 million to strengthen the company in the early 2000s, the two men have since fallen out over Wynn’s expansion.

Steve Wynn, meanwhile, accused Okada of corrupt behavior in the Japanese businessman’s moves to obtain reclaimed land in the Philippines for a casino to be controlled by Okada’s Universal Entertainment Corp.

Okada’s is one four companies putting up casinos in the Philippines’ Pagcor Entertainment City off Manila Bay. His casino should be ready by 2014.

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