Kazuo Okada gets California license, says he is ‘suitable’

TAGs: aruze gaming america, California, Casino News, gambling, Kazuo Okada

okada-gets-a-california-licenseNot one to turn down a not-so humble brag when the opportunity arises, Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada announced that Aruze Gaming America, his wholly-owned US subsidiary of Universal Entertainment, has been granted a California gaming license by the California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC).

As far as Okada’s concerned, the CGCC’s decision to grant Azure a gambling license shows that contrary to what his one-time bosom buddy Steve Wynn wants people to believe, he and his company are suitable to conduct business in the industry.

“I am pleased the California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) granted a Gaming Resource Supplier license to Aruze and its principals,” Okada said in a statement. “Each of these new licenses and renewals has been based on a determination that I am ‘suitable'”.

The billionaire also pointed out that since Wynn went on a mission to torpedo his reputation in the industry, his companies have been granted licenses in 18 new jurisdictions, in addition to all the license renewals he has received in the past year.

The new California license is another proverbial feather in the cap of Okada to add to the 43 California licenses his company, Aruze Gaming, already has in its possession. It’s also worth pointing out that the CGCC did serious look into all the legal cases Okada is currently embroiled in before ultimately deciding on granting him a license.

In the end, the commission, according to executive director Tina Littleton, unanimously decided to issue Aruze Gaming America a “two-year finding of suitability with the directive to keep the commission apprised of the investigation”. Should Okada be found guilty of any of the accusations levied against him, the commission has the authority to revoke the issued licenses.

As it stands, Okada is still under investigation for allegations of violating the US’ anti-bribery laws relating to improper payments made by Universal to Pagcor officials in an attempt to secure a casino license in the Philippines. The bickering between Wynn and Okada resulted in the former forcibly removing the latter in the board of Wynn Resorts, of which Okada was once the majority shareholder. Wynn Resorts even commissioned former FBI director Louis Freeh to conduct an investigative report on Okada’s shady business practices only for Okada to throw his own report, spearheaded by former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff, in the face of Wynn.

Nevertheless, the CGCC decided to grant Okada a new California license despite all of the public and legal squabbling between the two casino titans. And apparently, Okada has no problem rubbing it in the nose of his former partner, effectively saying, at least in our heads, “I’m suitable, you toupee-wearing girly man. Deal with it!”


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