OSAKA (TR) – With the investigation into the rigging of arcade games widening in scale, Osaka Prefectural Police have re-arrested the president of a management company over the alleged fraud of additional persons, reports NHK (Jan. 13).
On Saturday, police arrested Takeshi Odaira, the 33-year-old president of Amusement Trust, which operates multiple game centers, for allegedly swindling two women, aged in their 20s, via a rigged claw crane machine, in which a player attempts to grab a prize with a mechanical arm.
On December 7, the women input 13,000 yen into the machine at a game center in Dotonbori area of Chuo Ward that had been adjusted such that winning is impossible, according to police. Odaira has been accused of fraud.
Last month, police first arrested Odaira and six employees for using similar means to swindle four other women out of a total of 470,000 yen.
Police later apprehended a 30-year-old shop assistant for producing a manual that instructed employees how to deceive customers. The manual told employees to give customers turns at the machines at no charge and “target tourists since they are unlikely to cause trouble.”
In playing such a game, customers are charged at least 500 yen for a chance to claim a variety of a prizes, including stuffed animals and tablet computers.
According to a previous report, an employee would demonstrate in front of a customer that it is possible to win. However, before a customer played the settings of the machine would be changed such that the mechanical arm could not retrieve a prize.
Number of cases increases
In the initial investigation, police found 30 cases of fraud related to the rigging of machines at the game centers since 2015, with the losses totaling about 6 million yen.
However, police have now received about 300 claims of fraud involving similar game centers nationwide. The total amount lost in these cases is estimated at 60 million yen, police said.