Kazuo Okada vows to retake PH casino | Inquirer Business

Kazuo Okada vows to retake PH casino

/ 09:15 AM October 11, 2022

The group of Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada is betting on eventually retaking the $2-billion Okada Manila casino despite being ousted from operations twice in the past five years.

A recent resolution from the Department of Justice (DOJ) recommending the filing of grave coercion against Okada’s camp added to their legal woes, but the group would “fully question” the indictment, said the group’s new spokesman, lawyer Rico Paolo Quicho.

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“The Kazuo Okada group, principally [chair] Kazuo Okada, remains unfazed amid this minor setback since there are sufficient legal remedies to question and reverse the said erroneous decision by the Department of Justice recommending the charge of grave coercion,” he said in media briefing at a Makati City restaurant on Monday.

The DOJ recommendation follows the May 31 forcible takeover of the Manila Bay casino complex led by Okada’s local ally, businessman Antonio Cojuangco.

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That takeover was then reversed last September in a move backed by the gaming regulator, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

Quicho said on Thursday they were optimistic that they would once again regain control of Okada Manila — part of a broader international legal battle Okada was waging against his family for control of the sprawling business empire.

“We have to give deference to what the Supreme Court would decide on the matter,” he said.

“Let us not lose our attention [on] the fact it was Mr. Kazuo Okada who built Okada Manila. And he is hell-bent on continuing and making sure that his vision, that his investment in the Philippines, will continue to grow,” Quicho added.

Meanwhile, other cases filed by Okada’s estranged family related to the May 31 takeover had been dismissed by various local courts and the DOJ, Quicho said.

These refer to the falsification case filed at the courts in Paranaque and Makati as well as kidnapping and serious illegal detention, direct assault, unjust vexation and slight physical injuries filed at the DOJ.

Last August, the Supreme Court upheld a status quo order, which directed petitioners and respondents to go back to a previously existing state of affairs before Okada’s ouster in 2017.

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TAGS: casino, lawsuits, Manila, Okada
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