The six-year conflict between two casino giants ended with both men being forcibly shoved away from their lucrative careers and seemingly ousted by the very companies they built.
There was a time that casino magnate Steve Wynn and Japanese pachinko king Kazuo Okada joined forces in order to rebuild Wynn's gambling empire, the Wynn Resorts. Their partnership bitterly ended when Okada was ousted from the Wynn board and the company had seized his shares.
While Wynn Resorts board claims that Okada was corrupt and therefore had to be removed, the more probable reason was that Okada had become the biggest shareholder in the company after Steve Wynn's shares were cut into half following the divorce with his wife. Having lost one casino empire, Steve Wynn wasn't going to allow losing another.
Now, Wynn Resorts is writing a check for $2.6 billion to settle a dispute between Okada and Wynn - money that could have been put to better use, such as building a new casino or paying off debt from the recently-opened $4-billion Macau Wynn Palace. Wynn shareholders should be furious about this one.
Steve Wynn stepped down last month after a Wall Street Journal investigative report detailed allegations that would sum up a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct. The report also claimed that in 2005, Wynn paid a $7.5 million settlement to a manicurist who told the public at the time that the tycoon forced her to have sex with him. Steve Wynn denied the allegations and said it was ‘preposterous'.
Kazuo Okada lost his board position last year at Universal, with the board accusing him of misappropriating $20 million in funds, to which he denied the allegation. Other than that, he was also ousted as director of an investment company in Hong Kong which controls Universal Entertainment, as a result of conflict between family members over control and money.
Both casino moguls were born in 1942 and as they battled each other, unfortunately their own careers went up in smoke. However, the point is, the real losers here are the Wynn's shareholders.