AICHI (TR) – Aichi Prefectural Police have arrested more than 20 persons in the bust of an illegal casino in Nagoya that continued to operate despite the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, reports NHK (May 17).
Between April 16 and 23, Takashi Urano, the 45-year-old manager of the casino, and 10 other employees are alleged to have provided customers with baccarat gaming in violation of the law.
Police also seized one at least one baccarat table from the casino, located in Naka Ward’s Nishiki area, known as the largest entertainment district in the Tokai area.
The casino operated by taking a commission from the wagers placed by the customers. Police did not reveal whether the employees admit to the allegations.
Twelve male and female customers were also accused of illegal gambling. They all admit to the allegations, police said.
On April 16, Aichi was included in the nationwide state of emergency that was declared due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was lifted in Aichi on May 14.
Between those dates, persons were to avoid crowded places, conversation with others in close proximity and places without proper ventilation.
Since the casino did not meet those requirements — having no windows and instituted a three-door entry system for security — police making the bust arrived wearing goggles and gloves.
“I have had no days off from work,” one customer was quoted by police. “So I came [to the casino] two or three times a week.”
Police are now investigating whether revenue from the casino was used to fund organized crime.