Don't drag PH in Wynn-Okada row: PCCI

Posted at 02/28/12 3:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines should not be dragged into the corporate mud-fight between gambling tycoons Steve Wynn and Kazuo Okada, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said in a statement.

Wynn Resorts said corruption in the Philippine gaming industry was the main reason it rejected Okada's repeated requests to form a joint venture in the country.

PCCI President Miguel B. Varela urged Wynn and Okada to "exercise utmost prudence, caution and good judgment in making further damaging statements" since it may have a negative impact on the Philippines and its growing gaming industry.

"The sweeping characterization of the Philippines as a corrupt nation on the sole basis of the allegation that a gaming license was granted to Mr. Kazuo Okada for a period of 25 years for the Entertainment City Project in exchange for favors supposedly received by PAGCOR officials, does not depict a fair and accurate picture of the country and how the PAGCOR Project was actually processed," the PCCI said.

"The basis of such claims should be validated across the country and should reflect the real and actual conditions in the local level."

Wynn Resorts filed a lawsuit in Las Vegas, accusing Okada of spending thousands of dollars in travel expenses and gifts on officials of PAGCOR.

PCCI said the Aquino administration has been implementing reforms to eliminate corruption and to increase transparency in government.

The organization also noted there has been an improvement in the perception of the Philippines as a place to do business, backed by positive feedback from international credit ratings agencies.