Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Pachinko operator raided in Japan’s casino bribery probe

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Japanese authorities raided the headquarters of a pachinko operator on Thursday as part of a bribery investigation centred on a ruling party lawmaker, media reported, widening a scandal that could undermine government efforts to develop casinos.

The Tokyo-based firm was under investigation for possible ties to ruling party lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto, who was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of accepting bribes when he oversaw the government’s policy on casino development, broadcaster NHK said.

Without identifying the pachinko company that was raided, NHK said its accounts were being scrutinised for any transactions involving Akimoto, who in the past served as a consultant for a firm that had dealings with the pachinko operator.

Pachinko, a slot-cum-pinball form of gambling, is a national obsession though the number of players is declining as younger generations prefer to play games on their mobile phones.

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