TOKYO (TR) – Investigative sources have revealed that a former pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants funnelled bets on baseball games from teammates to a bookmaker, the latest revelation in a widening gambling probe, reports Nippon News Network (May 1).
Shoki Kasahara, 25, who was arrested last week on illegal gambling charges, is accused of placing wagers on professional and high school games in 2014 and last year on behalf of former pitchers Ryuya Matsumoto, 23, and 26-year-old Kyosuke Takagi.
The wagers, which, according to Kasahara, reached as high as one million yen, were brokered by Satoshi Saito, 38, a former restaurant manager, who was also arrested. He faces charges of operating a bookmaking operation for profit.
The transactions were completed via mobile phone whereby Saito submitted betting lines to Kasahara, who then relayed the information to the other players.
In November, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) suspended Kasahara for an indefinite period after evidence of his gambling emerged. The month before, Satoshi Fukuda, 32, and Matsumoto were released and suspended for placing wagers on games, while Takagi received a one-year ban by NPB in March.
Saito has told police that he obtained the betting lines from an Internet site. Police are now investigating whether the site has ties to organized crime, according to NHK (April 30).