There is more to casino bribery case in Japan. As the Asian country is poised to host three integrated casino resorts in the first phase of its gambling expansion plan, the arrest of a ruling party lawmaker over allegations of bribe from a Chinese gambling operator has given space to critics and the opposition who are now bombarding the current political dispensation – that has been in favor of casinos in the country – with several tough questions.
According to sources and local media reports, there is definitely more to the casino bribery case and the opposition claims that the investigators have just scratched the surface.
Sources say that the Chinese gambling operator bribed Akimoto to seek favors in the licensing process and precisely to lobby for having more integrated casino resorts in the country. Akimoto held the office of state minister in the cabinet and was monitoring the government’s policies on integrated resorts.
It has been reported that the officials of the Chinese gambling company 500.com had urged Akimoto to help have more sites in the country that would be hosting the integrated resorts.
This is said to have happened around February and March when the Japanese government was planning to allocate sites for integrated resorts as a part of the gambling expansion bill.
While the ruling Liberal Democratic Party was proposing to have about five integrated resorts its coalition partner would not go with more than two or three. Finally, it was decided in April that Japan would host three casinos in the first phase.
Though the allegations have been rejected as Akimoto said that he had not taken any bribe further investigations will hopefully reveal the secrets.
Earlier in the week, Akimoto’s office was raided following which he was arrested. The police have also conducted a raid on a pachinko operator’s office following Akimoto’s arrest.
However, amidst severe criticisms from those opposed to the opening of casinos in the country, Japan’s government is firm on its stand and has said that the allegations against Akimoto and his arrest will not deter the plans to have integrated resorts up and running.