Universal Sues Aruze, Okada

Universal Entertainment Corp. has announced it will file criminal and civil lawsuits against Aruze Gaming America Inc. and Kazuo Okada (l.), seeking damages for the violation of patent rights and other infringements.

Universal Sues Aruze, Okada

Okada ousted as chairman in 2017

Universal Entertainment Corp. has filed suit against Aruze Gaming America Inc. and Universal’s founder, Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada, for patent infringements and other violations, reports Inside Asian Gaming.

The suits will be filed in four jurisdictions: the United States, Macau, the Philippines and Hong Kong. Universal claims that AGA has “illegally used patents on gaming machines belonging to the company to conduct the sales of gaming machines” in the abovementioned jurisdiction.

Universal previously filed a patent infringement lawsuit against AGA and Okada in March but “decided to file criminal complaints and civil lawsuits based on violation of its patent rights and other rights against AGA Group companies and Kazuo Okada.”

The amount of damages sought is unknown. AGA once was a subsidiary of Universal, but the company sold its entire stake in AGA to Okada in 2010. Universal also cut ties with Okada in 2017, removing him as chairman of the company after allegations of misappropriation of funds.

In related news, Universal is planning to list Tiger Resort, Leisure, and Entertainment Inc. on an unnamed stock market in the near future. Universal “is preparing to take public Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc., the core company in the group’s casino resort Business, in about two years to accelerate its growth and raise its name recognition,” Universal said in a statement.

Along with an IPO, Universal is also planning to expand the integrated resort in Manila’s Entertainment City, adding hotel rooms and a luxury spa, among other attractions. Okada Manila should be fully complete in December 2019 and hopes to boost its VIP business “by setting itself apart from competitors in terms of the volume of facilities and the quality of services,” the company said.

Universal reported net income of JPY181.40 billion (US$1.65 billion) in the first quarter of 2017. Its consolidated net sales for the period was JPY19.55 billion ($177.82 million).