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PAGCOR Changes Position on Intended Investigation of Allegedly Violent and Illegal Takeover of Okada Manila

The Phillippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) announced a change in its previous official position associated with Okada Manila’s alleged forced takeover by a company owned by the Japanese mogul Kazuo Okada. The announcement came only a day after it was determined to start an investigation into the reported issues.

After earlier this week it was revealed that the integrated casino resort Okada Manila was illegally and forcibly taken over by individuals close to Mr. Okada, the President of PAGCOR – Alfredo Lim – noted that he was shocked to learn about the violence and intimidation, while the country’s gambling watchdog was preparing for its June 1st meeting to discuss its official position on the incident.

At the time, the regulatory body was also set to consider how to investigate the case without causing a disruption of the resort’s operations.

However, following its mid-week meeting, PAGCOR made a U-turn on its official position, announcing that it was only aimed at ensuring that operations of Okada Manila continue undisturbed after the property was taken over by a group close to Kazuo Okada. When announcing the watchdog’s new position, its President, Mr. Lim, even categorized the recent action as a smooth transition of power.

Okada Manila’s Parent Company Claims PAGCOR Representatives Were Present at the Resort’s Takeover

As reported by Inside Asia Gaming (IAG), a further investigation into the sudden change of heart of PAGCOR found that all Japanese staff at the integrated casino resort was suspended by Okada with no pay for the previous month.

According to sources, familiar with the matter, which were left unnamed by IAG, all board members of the resort’s parent company – Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (TRLEI) – had their company phones cut off. At the same time, some of the resort’s key departments, including Finance, IT, and HR, are being physically guarded at the entries by security personnel and certain staff members, including the former head of security at Okada Manila.

The group around the ex-director of the Japanese parent organization of TRLEI – Universal Entertainment Corp. – also issued a statement linked to the recent events at the Phillippine-based integrated casino resort, saying that there was no violence during the May 31st takeover and even stating that representatives of the country’s gambling regulator were present at Okada Manila at the time. The statement reads that the allegations of an illegal and violent takeover of the casino resort were not true. It revealed that Mr. Okada’s representatives included four Sheriffs and several members of the Philippine National Police, and the takeover was witnessed by PAGCOR representatives.

As CasinoGamesPro reported earlier this week, Universal Entertainment Corp. issued an official notice regarding the physical takeover of Okada Manila, after the action was labeled as violent and illegal. Following the revelations, the Phillippine gambling regulator announced that it would probe the incident of taking the physical control of the integrated casino resort’s premises. Only a couple of days later, however, PAGCOR made a surprising U-turn on its official position on the situation.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.