Kazuo Okada, the Japanese billionaire embroiled in a legal dispute with Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, has been dealt a tough hand by his ex-partner and best friend.
Okada, an engineer by training who helped bankroll his friend’s Wynn Resorts Inc empire, now worth $14 billion, stood accused on Sunday of improper payments to foreign gambling regulators and lost his nearly 20 percent slice of that company when it was forcibly redeemed by Wynn at a steep discount.
The falling-out between the two self-made tycoons has longer-term implications for their multibillion-dollar businesses. Each is claiming the other made improper payments to win favor in their respective Macau and Philippines markets, two of the world’s fastest-growing casino arenas.
It comes at an inopportune time for Okada, who has mostly been careful to maintain a low profile while exploring and developing projects from the Philippines to North America.
by Arthur Furrowfield