Universal loses defamation appeal against Reuters

Universal Entertainment has lost an appeal in a defamation suit against Reuters after a court upheld an earlier ruling that found the news agency did not imply bribery in an article about the company.

The Japanese firm sued Reuters in December 2012, demanding 200 million yen ($1.8 million) and apologies, for stories relating to $40 million in payments Universal made to a consultant in relation to a casino project in the Philippines, Reuters reported.

“We are pleased that the appellate court affirmed the accuracy and fairness of Reuters’ reporting,” a company spokeswoman said.

Universal is scheduled to open its integrated resort, Okada Manila, in the Philippines in December. The article alleged an affiliate of Universal had made improper payments to secure land concessions related to the resort.

The 2012 report found that the company funneled at least $30 million to an ex-consultant for the Philippines gaming authority who is now at the center of a bribery investigation.