Japanese gambling tycoon Kazuo Okada announced Thursday he was resigning from the board of casino operator Wynn Resorts, a day before the company's board was expected to oust him.
Okada blasted Wynn's founder and chief executive Steve Wynn for plotting to discredit him and force him out of the company, and repeated allegations made earlier about the misuse of company funds in its Macau venture.
"I no longer believe it is appropriate for me to serve on the Board of Directors of a company that is behaving in a manner that I deeply believe to be unethical," Okada said in a statement.
The board "has refused my reasonable requests to promptly investigate what appears to me to be misconduct by Steve Wynn, and thus is under the dictatorship of Mr. Wynn and fails to fulfill its original function," he added.
Wynn Resorts was scheduled to make a final decision in a special shareholder vote on Friday on expelling Okada, who has been enmeshed in a battle with Steve Wynn since 2011.
Once close partners, with Okada having provided some $260 million to strengthen the company in the early 2000s, the two men have since fallen out over Wynn's expansion.
Okada has accused the company of making a questionable $135 million donation to a university in Macau, where Wynn now has a profitable casino.
Meanwhile Steve Wynn accused Okada of corrupt behavior in the Japanese businessman's moves to get land in the Philippines for a casino to be controlled by Okada's Universal Entertainment Corporation. Wynn said the move violated a no-competition pact agreed by Okada.
In the ensuing fight the Wynn board forcibly redeemed Okada's 20 percent stake in Wynn Resorts at a 30 percent discount to market value. Okada said he will continue to fight that move in US courts.