Kazuo Okada, the Japanese billionaire locked in a dispute with the US casino magnate Steve Wynn, has recorded a 15-minute video attack on his former ally, a day after filing a lawsuit seeking to block the forced redemption of his stake in Wynn Resorts.
In the video, published on the website of his Tokyo-based Universal Entertainment group, Mr Okada said Mr Wynn had portrayed him as an “unsuitable” business partner after he questioned a $135m donation made by the US casino group to the University of Macau last year.
His understated delivery in Japanese was a rare public statement by the Las Vegas casino tycoon’s low-profile business partner of 12 years.
“I have trusted Steve Wynn and I have never scrutinised his activities,” said Mr Okada. “I became suspicious when Steve Wynn suddenly changed his attitude to question Universal’s investment in the Philippines after he had long been supporting it from behind the scenes.
“His attitude changed because I became suspicious regarding the purpose and reason for the large donation made to the University of Macau and opposed to it.”
Speaking in a subtitled video clip, Mr Okada said it was only last year that Mr Wynn started objecting to his plan to build his own casino in Manila Bay.
“Mr Wynn suddenly started saying in board meetings that since the Philippines was corrupt, there must be something inappropriate taking place with Okada’s Philippines project,” he said.
Mr Okada said in the video that the bribery charges were made by a “biased” report by Louis Freeh, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who was commissioned by the Wynn Resorts board.
“The Freeh report is based on hearsay, speculation, rumours, unproven allegation and misunderstandings.
“It does not take into account any explanation of information from our side since the board never gave us a chance to explain,” Mr Okada said.
Wynn Resorts did not respond to the video. But the company did respond to Mr Okada’s counterclaim lawsuit, filed in Nevada on Monday.
The lawsuit seeks to block the forced redemption of Mr Okada’s $2.77bn stake in Wynn Resort and accuses Mr Wynn of running the casino group like a “personal fiefdom”.
“Despite its enormous length and scurrilous allegations, the Okada response fails to contain any meaningful denial of the facts detailed in the Freeh report,” said Wynn Resorts in a statement.
“Wynn Resorts looks forward to having Mr Okada’s actions and the company’s response presented to and adjudicated in court.”
The case against Mr Okada comes amid growing concerns among some US companies that the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is too unclear.
The American Gaming Association, which represents the casino industry, is among the signatories of a letter issued last month by the US Chamber of Commerce to the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission asking for better guidelines.
Get alerts on Wynn Resorts Ltd when a new story is published