An online casino operating illegally in Sakai City, Osaka has been busted. The Osaka Prefectural Police have confirmed the illegal operation which was reportedly organized by criminal gangs Yakuza.
Two suspects – Hiroaki Matsumura, 29, and Hiroki Gomi, 28, – have been held by the police on charges of gambling. Moreover, three other employees who have been associated with illegal online gambling operations and tasked with supplying customers with internet wagering at the facility have also been held.
The modus-operandi involved customers placing wagers at the casino with points with each point valuing 100 yen. The players could get their points redeemed into cash later.
The makeshift casino operating from an internet service center by the name of Peach was being managed by one Masatoshi Asanuma, a 58-year-old member of the Yamaguchi-Gumi, a criminal group.
While the employees at the center have admitted to the gambling charges, the manager and the gang member has denied.
Japan is already about to launch land-based casinos. In the first phase, three casinos would be developed.
Recently, the Yokohama prefecture joined the race to host a casino after, Osaka, Nagasaki, and Wakayama.
The Japanese casino market is expected to be amongst the top gambling markets globally. A recent report from analysts Sanford Bernstein estimates that the Japanese casino market will generate $8 billion in gross gaming revenues annually making it the third biggest gambling market only after Nevada and Macau.