Steve Wynn has apparently lost the latest round of his legal battle with Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada in connection with the latter’s stock redemption case.
Bloomberg reported that Nevada District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez threw out the petition of Wynn Resorts Ltd seeking to avoid a jury trial, paving the way for the hearing of the case in April 2018.
Judge Gonzalez rejected Wynn’s arguments that the Supreme Court was clear with its ruling that courts cannot question a board’s decision as long as it’s made following proper procedures, saying that the “business judgment” rule only guarantees the protection of the personalities and not the company itself.
Before Gonzalez’ issued her decision, Universal Entertainment’s lawyer David Krakoff argued at Monday’s hearing that “the Wynn board will pull out all the stops to go after, to attack anyone opposed to Mr. Wynn, like Mr. Okada and Ms. Wynn.”
He lamented that the Wynn Board does nothing “when it comes to Mr. Wynn and his friends.”
Observers noted that Gonzalez was the first magistrate to address the merits of the case that stemmed from Okada’s alleged improper payments to Philippine gaming officials.
It would be recalled that in 2012, Wynn Resorts board decided to cancel Okada’s 20 percent stake in the company and issue him a promissory note for $1.9 billion after the Japanese billionaire provided gifts to then senior officials of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
The Wynn board considered Okada’s actions a threat to the firm’s gaming licenses in other jurisdictions.
Okada, who was ousted from the Tokyo-listed gambling firm Universal Entertainment Corp. in June, had denied any irregularities when it comes to his dealings with Philippine government officials. He claimed that Wynn was only trying to find ways to kick him out of the firm after he became Wynn Resorts’ biggest single shareholder.
Despite the recent fallout between Okada and Universal, the Japanese gaming firm stated that it will still go after Wynn through Macau courts.