Pachinko mogul Okada sues Wynn for $140 mln in Tokyo court

HONG KONG Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:05pm IST

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HONG KONG Aug 28 (Reuters) - Kazuo Okada, the Japanese billionaire embroiled in a legal fistfight with former partner and chairman of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn, on Tuesday filed a defamation lawsuit in Japan against the casino company and its officials.

Okada, who submitted the filing through his company Universal Entertainment, is claiming $140 million (11.2 billion yen) in damages, alleging that Wynn's actions led to a fall off in Universal's stock price, new business opportunities and damaged his reputation.

Representatives for Wynn were not immediately available.

The filing is the latest skirmish in an eight-month-long saga, which has also seen Okada and Wynn sue each other in the United States.

Universal, in a stock exchange statement, said it had filed the lawsuit before the Tokyo District Court.

Until this past winter, Okada was the largest shareholder in Wynn's $11 billion gambling empire, which has casinos in Las Vegas and Macau. He helped bankroll Wynn's operations for more than a decade.

The two fell out publicly in January when Okada filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against Wynn for blocking access to financial documents relating to a $135 million company donation to the University of Macau.

Wynn has stripped Okada of his once 20 percent share holding in Wynn Resorts, claiming that he is unsuitable to continue as a board member of the company. Both self-made billionaires claim the other made improper payments to win favour in their respective Macau and Philippines markets.

Okada who made his fortune in pachinko--a game that is a cross between pinball and slots-- is developing a $2 billion casino resort in the Philippines.

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