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Japanese court dismisses lawsuit against Wynn Resorts

A defamation lawsuit filed last year by Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada against Wynn Resorts Ltd., company CEO Steve Wynn and some of its executives has been dismissed by a Tokyo District Court.

The court ruled Okada’s lawsuit should not be handled by the Japanese legal system because the dispute between Okada and his former business partner Steve Wynn and Wynn Resorts is technically based in District Court in Las Vegas.

The ruling was made on Monday, Reuters reported.

Wynn Resorts executives in Las Vegas declined to comment Tuesday. A spokesman for Okada’s Universal Entertainment Corp. was unavailable.

The case, which was filed in August 2012, centers on the release early last year of a 45-page report by Wynn Resorts alleging misconduct by Okada in South Korea and the Philippines. Okada had sought $114 million in damages from Wynn Resorts, Wynn and other executives.

The report by former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh accused Okada of paying $110,000 to Philippine gaming regulators. Freeh argued the payments were a violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Wynn policy that say its illegal to give cash payments and gifts to foreign officials.

Wynn Resorts also redeemed 24.54 million shares in the gaming company owned by Aruze USA Inc., a company control by Okada. Wynn Resorts agreed to pay Okada $1.9 billion over 10 years for his 20 percent stake in the company.

Okada helped finance the gaming company that became Wynn Resorts. His companies are under investigation in the United States for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in relation to a $2 billion casino project in Manila Bay.

Wynn Resorts will announce its third-quarter earnings on Thursday after the stock market closes. Analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance expect earnings of $1.65 per share on revenue of $1.36 billion.

Shares of Wynn Resorts hit a new 52-week high Tuesday of $173.38 before closing down $3.10, or 1.79 percent, to $170.03 on above average volume of 1.54 shares traded on the Nasdaq. The company’s shares rebounded in after-hours trading, gaining 62 cents, or 0.37 percent, to $170.65.

Contact reporter Chris Siertoy at csiertoy@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.Follow @sierotyfeatures on Twitter.

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