Universal Entertainment Corporation has announced that it will open a Japan branch of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) – the operating company of for its Okada Manila integrated resort in the Philippines – ahead of a planned bid for a Japanese IR license.
In a Wednesday announcement, Universal said that the purpose of the Japan branch, to be located in Tokyo, will be “for research and analysis of the Integrated Resort Implementation Bill of Japan and study of the potential of a casino resort business in Japan in the wake of the enactment” of the bill.
It added that the Japanese business could potentially work in conjunction with Okada Manila as a “future business contact” for customer solicitation and marketing activities.
The former Chairman of both TRLEI and Universal, Kazuo Okada, has long stated his desire to operate an IR in his home country but this is the first time since his ouster last year that Universal has made clear its own Japan ambitions. Okada was kicked off the boards of Universal and TRLEI amid allegations of fraud relating to the misappropriation of company funds.
The news that Universal is eying Japan is sure to make Okada himself sit up and take notice.
Earlier this month the Japanese gaming tycoon filed a suit against TRLEI with the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court seeking to have his dumping from the board last year declared null and void. He also told Inside Asian Gaming in an exclusive interview to feature in our upcoming October print and digital edition that he planned to regain control of Universal.
“I plan to get back my company. I need to clear my name and prove I have done nothing wrong,” he said.