John L. Smith On The (Mis)Fortunes Of Kazuo Okada
We know who Steve Wynn is. His name rises high above the Las Vegas Strip. But the casual visitor probably doesn’t know the name: Kazuo Okada.
“The reason why most folks don’t know Okada is he is not a very public person. The business he’s in is basically on of supply, of improving technology, and supplying casinos all over the world with slot machines basically but in all their many manifestations,” KNPR contributor John L. Smith said.
But Okada is intricately connected with both Wynn and Las Vegas.
As the founder of Universal Game in the late 1960s, Okada managed to grow his company into an industry giant. Then he linked arms with Wynn to start Wynn Resorts. Okada’s fortunes grew even greater.
Now those fortunes have shifted. Okada was suspended from his own company last week after an auditor discovered a suspicious loan that linked directly to an Okada holding company. He’s embroiled in a protracted lawsuit with Wynn riddled with highly controversial allegations, and his Philippine casino development is also fraught with question marks.
“He is still according to reports under investigation by the FBI in association with that business activity and that remains a controversy one of several that he is courting,” Smith said, “The FBI continues to investigate the question of whether $40 million flowed toward Philippine gaming license authorities in order to effect license for the Okada casino.”
“The FBI continues to investigate the question of whether $40 million flowed toward Philippine gaming license authorities in order to effect license for the Okada casino.”
It starts July 10 th. In Judge Glory Navarro courtroom. She’ll be handling all the Bundy related cases. It figures to be a long summer and potentially fall for Navarro. This is the retrial of four of the six men. The two others were convicted on some of the charges.
The biggest question in my mind going forward is how the prosecution, the U.S. Attorney’s office, will approach this proceeding. In the first trial, there was a tremendous, tremendous amount of video, audio testimony. A lot of reality television going on in the courtroom. It will be interesting to see if they trim that because clearly, it appears to have overwhelmed that first jury.
The Debate Over Health Care
My daughter Amelia more than a decade ago was diagnosed with a brain tumor, later a spinal tumor. She had operations later radiation and chemotherapy. The long story short is that anyone with complex medical issues goes through what is really a long struggle with after care. Her fight has been a long one. She continues it to today. She's fighting a life-threatening infection after a surgery. These are the kinds of things that happen that create the pre-existing conditions that folks like me need insurance fight. Without that, it's hard image the feeling that parents will go through knowing that they're going to be bounced or insurance is going to be placed so far out of their reach that it's as if they had no insurance at all.
John L. Smith, contributor