Universal Entertainment Corporation

    Website: http://www.universal-777.com/en/

    Operating since 1979, Universal Entertainment is mainly involved in the planning, development, manufacturing, and sales of pachinko and pachislot machines in Japan. In the early 2000s, Universal’s founder, Kazuo Okada, became a partner with Steve Wynn in the creation of Wynn Resorts. In 2016, Universal independently developed and opened the Okada Manila IR in the Philippines. In 2017, however, Kazuo Okada was accused of various crimes and replaced by Jun Fujimoto at the helm of the company.

    While Universal possesses experience developing a major casino resort project, it is unclear what its intentions are in regard to the Japan IR market.


    Fujimoto, Jun

    Family Name: Fujimoto Given Name: Jun Role: President & CEO Profile: Having held senior executive posts since 2004, Fujimoto became President in 2011 and assumed control as CEO in 2017, after playing a key role in ousting company founder Kazuo Okada.

    Oya, Takashi

    Family Name: Oya Given Name: Takashi Role: President of Okada Manila Profile: Prior to his promotion to the post of president of Asiabest Group International and Okada Manila in March 2019, Oya had held senior positions at the Fields Research Institute from 2007 to 2018, and was a director of Deutsche Securities from 1999 to 2007.

    Okada, Kazuo

    Family Name: Okada Given Name: Kazuo Role: Founder and Former Chairman Profile: Okada rose to prominence as a manufacturer of slot machines and pachislot. In the early 2000s he worked together with Steve Wynn to establish Wynn Resorts, but later moved on to focus on his own casino project in the Philippines, Okada Manila. Not long after the doors opened on that crowning achievement, Okada was accused of misappropriating company funds and was dislodged from his position in the company that he founded.

    Sugiyama, Kenji

    Family Name: Sugiyama Given Name: Kenji Role: Former President of Okada Manila Profile: With a background in security issues within the hospitality industry joined Tiger Resort in 2012 and worked his way up to the position of president of Okada Manila. He resigned from that position in March 2019.

    Usui, Takahiro

    Family Name: Usui Given Name: Takahiro Role: Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aruze Gaming America Profile: Usui joined Aruze Gaming in 2005 and ultimately rose to become its chairman and chief executive officer. He also served and president and chief operating officer of Okada Manila in 2016-2017, but when Universal Entertainment launched fraud allegations against Kazuo Okada in 2017, Usui was accused of being his co-conspirator. He thus lost his position in the Philippines, but remained in charge of Aruze Gaming from its Las Vegas base. However, in June 2019, he resigned from his US positions as well.

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    Okada Manila Earnings Margin Improving

    Okada Manila’s EBITDA margin appears to be improving on operational changes, table pricing and an improvement in non-gaming amenities, Union Gaming wrote in a note.

    Okada Gaming Revenue Jumps 29.5%

    Okada Manila saw gross gaming revenue (GGR) rise 29.5% in September, with strong gains from both the VIP and mass market segment.

    Okada Manila August Revenue Up on VIP Growth

    Universal Entertainment has announced that Okada Manila saw a substantial rise in gross gaming revenue in August 2019, driven by a boost in its VIP business.

    Okada Manila Opens New Rooms as July Revenue Jumps

    Universal Entertainment said Okada Manila is opening more hotel rooms to accommodate visitors as its July revenue spiked 48% from the prior year.

    Universal Entertainment Revenues Increase 12.9% in January-June 2019 Period

    Universal Entertainment saw its net sales increase 12.9% to 52.5 billion yen (about US$495 million) in the first half of 2019, boosted mainly by growth across all segments at Okada Manila.

    Universal Debuts Slot Innovations Including Multi-Currency

    Japan’s Universal Entertainment announced it has introduced two major innovations for slot machines, including a multi-currency option, with both being deployed at its Okada Manila property in the Philippines.

    Tokyo and Philippine Courts Reject Okada’s Appeals

    Courts in Japan and the Philippines have rejected legal appeals from billionaire Kazuo Okada, who is seeking to regain control over his former gaming empire.

    Okada Manila Gaming Revenues Up 26% in June

    Okada Manila saw a 26% year-on-year increase in gross gaming revenue for the month of June, reaching 3 billion pisos (about US$60 million).

    Okada Manila VIP Revenue Falls 37.7% in May

    Philippines IR Okada Manila saw gross gaming revenue fall 6.7% year-on-year in May, due mainly to a sharp fall in VIP table game revenue.

    Kazuo Okada Fires Back Against Tiger Resort Officials

    Embattled gaming mogul Kazuo Okada has fired back against officials of Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc., accusing them of conspiring to remove him from his own company, local media reports.

    Kazuo Okada Maintains Innocence as Philippine Court Reaffirms Arrest Warrant

    Kazuo Okada has vowed to make use of all legal options to fight an arrest warrant laid against himself and the former president of Okada Manila, Takahiro Usui, in relation to fraud allegations, local media reports.

    Okada Manila April Gaming Revenue Gains 26%

    Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment, the company that operates Okada Manila, said the integrated resort generated a 26% gain in gross gaming revenue in April.

    Okada Manila Reports US$56 Million Operating Loss in 2018

    Universal Entertainment’s flagship integrated resort business, Okada Manila, reported a narrowed operating loss of 6.2 billion yen (about US$56 million) in 2018, helped by higher net sales, and “extremely high” occupancy rate during the year.

    Okada Manila Posts 68% Increase in Gaming Revenue in March

    Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment, the operating firm for Okada Manila, reported a 68% increase in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the month of March 2019, mainly due to a recovery in domestic and international players following Chinese New Year.

    Leadership Change at Okada Manila

    Takashi Oya has replaced Kenji Sugiyama as both president of Asiabest Group International, the corporate entity used by Universal Entertainment to create a backdoor listing to the Philippine Stock Exchange, as well as the Okada Manila IR.

    Kazuo Okada Released from Bail in Hong Kong

    Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada announced on Friday he has been released from bail by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption, thus resolving one of his pending legal difficulties.

    Universal-Capcom Pachislot Alliance “a Powerful Collaboration”

    The business alliance between Universal Entertainment and Capcom to jointly develop pachislot machines has been described by an industry analyst to AGB Nippon as “a powerful collaboration.”

    Okada Manila Posts Record Revenues in January

    Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, the operating company for Okada Manila, posted record GGR and adjusted EBITDA in January.

    Kazuo Okada Losing His Corporate Battle

    Casino magnate Kazuo Okada is on the verge of losing his bitter battle to regain control of the gaming business that he founded after a series of legal and business events have swung against him.

    Okada Manila Signs Agreement with Chinese Travel Agency

    Universal Entertainment has announced that it will be working with Chinese state-owned travel agency to develop package tours to its Philippines-based resort, Okada Manila.

    Kazuo Okada Asks Philippine Stock Exchange to Block Listing of Tiger Resort

    Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada has asked the Philippine Stock Exchange to block a planned backdoor listing of Tiger Resort Asia, which owns and operates the US$2.4 billion Okada Manila.

    Tiger Resort Sees 13% Gaming Revenue Decline in December

    Universal Entertainment has reported to the JASDAQ Securities Exchange a month-to-month 13% decline in gaming revenue from its unit Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment, the operating firm for Okada Manila.

    Universal Claims Okada Arrest Will Have No Impact on Okada Manila

    Universal Entertainment assured shareholders on Monday that the arrest warrant for Universal Entertainment founder Kazuo Okada will not affect its Philippines gaming operations.

    Arrest Warrant Issued for Kazuo Okada

    A court in Parañaque, the Philippines, has issued an arrest warrant for Universal Entertainment founder Kazuo Okada in connection with charges that he embezzled more than US$3 million from his own company.
    Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment

    Universal’s Manila Unit Ordered to Refile Tender Offer

    Tiger Resorts & Leisure has been ordered to re-submit its tender offer to minority shareholders in Asiabest Group to disclose factual information about civil and criminal proceedings involving its directors in Hong Kong.
    Universal Entertainment

    Universal Entertainment Sharply Lowers 2018 Business Results Forecast

    Universal Entertainment has released a revised business results forecast for the calendar year 2018 which is sharply lower than what it had projected in May.

    Okada Manila Reaches Record High Casino Revenues and Profits in November

    Universal Entertainment released financial figures showing that casino revenues at Okada Manila reached a record-high 2.9 billion pisos (US$55.1 million) in November, combined with a record-high EBITDA of almost 528 million pisos (US$10 million) during the same period.

    Fitch Positively Assesses Universal Entertainment’s Future Prospects

    Fitch Ratings assigned Universal Entertainment Corporation a “Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating of 'B+' with a Stable Outlook” after providing a modestly optimistic assessment of the firm, especially its Okada Manila IR in the Philippines.

    Okada Ousted on Suspicion, Not Evidence, Says Son

    Tomohiro Okada, the son of casino mogul Kazuo Okada, has admitted that he had played a part in the removal of his father from their family-owned company based on suspicion of impropriety, rather than any concrete evidence.

    Universal Entertainment Releases Monthly Results for Casino Resort Business

    Apparently as part of its policy of enhanced information disclosure as promised in a statement to the JASDAQ securities exchange last month, Universal Entertainment has publicly released a monthly report on its casino business—in other words, regarding Okada Manila in the Philippines.

    Universal Entertainment January-September Net Income Reaches US$1.5 Billion

    Japanese gaming conglomerate Universal Entertainment reported net income of 168 billion yen (about US$1.5 billion) and net sales of 67 billion yen (about US$593 million) for the first nine months of 2018.

    Duterte Wants Crackdown on Online Gambling

    Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said that he wants to suppress online gambling, which has become a magnet for kidnapping and extortion.

    Universal Entertainment Vows to Upgrade Information Disclosure

    In a statement to the JASDAQ securities exchange on Tuesday, Universal Entertainment vowed to provide necessary information on the company’s financial condition and its business outcomes in a more appropriate manner so as to help investors make judgments on their investments.

    Universal Entertainment to Acquire US$17.8 Million in Treasury Stock

    Universal Entertainment Corporation says it will be spending up to 2 billion yen (about US$17.8 million) to acquire the company’s common stock and converting it to Treasury stock.

    Sega Sammy Seeks Future as Major International IR Operator

    Sega Sammy Holdings released its 150-page “Integrated Report 2018” this week in which, among other things, the company proclaims its intention to be “on an equal footing with world-famous IR operators” both domestically and internationally.

    Okada Manila Executives Promote IR at Tokyo Tourism Expo

    Okada Manila President Kenji Sugiyama and Vice-Chairman Antonio Cojuangco spoke at the Tourism Expo Japan 2018 to promote increased Japanese visits to their IR in the Philippines and also to discuss general lessons from their experience for the future of the Japanese IR market.

    Universal Entertainment Makes Move Toward Japan IR Market

    Philippines-based Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment, operator of Okada Manila and a unit of the Universal Entertainment Corporation, will open an office in Tokyo with the aim of entering the domestic IR race.

    Universal Unit Seeks Backdoor Listing in the Philippines

    Universal Entertainment’s Philippine unit, the operator of the Okada Manila, is planning a backdoor listing through the takeover of Manila-traded Asiabest Group (ABG).

    Okada Presents His Own View of His Arrest

    Gaming mogul Kazuo Okada has fired back at the allegations made against him by Universal Entertainment Corporation, calling the allegations “false and malicious” and part of “the latest attempt by UEC to harm [his] reputation.”

    Universal Entertainment Posts US$1.6 Billion in Profits for First Half of 2018

    Universal Entertainment has reported 172.5 billion yen (about US$1.6 billion) in profit for the January-June period of 2018. Universal had reported financial losses in the same period of the previous year.

    Kazuo Okada Arrested in Hong Kong on Fraud Charges

    Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada and an associate has been arrested by Hong Kong’s anti-corruption watchdog, according to a filing from Universal Entertainment Corporation.

    Universal Plans Organizational Realignment

    Universal Entertainment, the company behind Okada Manila, is planning an intra-group “organizational realignment” aimed at protecting its businesses from “unsuitable individuals.”

    Okada Not Yet Off the Hook for Fraud Charges

    Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada is not completely clear of the US$10 million fraud charges filed against him, which is still subject to review from the Department of Justice

    Universal Entertainment to Apply for US Manufacturing License

    Universal Entertainment Corporation, the parent company behind the Okada Manila IR in the Philippines, is looking to acquire licenses in the United States for the manufacture of equipment and devices used in its casino operations, according to a company statement.

    Philippine Prosecutors Clear Kazuo Okada

    Philippine prosecutors in Parañaque and Makati cities have dropped all charges filed against Japanese gaming billionaire Kazuo Okada.

    Universal Seeks IPO for Tiger, Says Manila Sales Rising

    Universal Entertainment said it plans to seek a stock market listing for the company that controls its Okada Manila property within the next two years as it positions for further growth.