TOKYO (T) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have raided an illegal casino operating inside a unit of luxury high-rise apartment building Minato Ward, reports the Asahi Shimbun (June 15).
The raid was conducted as a clean-up effort in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, which is scheduled to be held in the capital starting next month.
Police are currently investigating whether the operation was linked to organized crime.
On Monday night, officers entered the unit in the Roppongi entertainment district and arrested manager Takashi Yamaguchi, 52 and five other male staff members, aged in their 40s and 50s, for allegedly providing baccarat and poker wagering.
“We opened as a casino school with no intention of conducting gambling,” Yamaguchi said.
Police also seized baccarat and poker tables. Two male and female customers were also arrested in the case.
Police believe that a web site listing the premises as a school was to conceal the fact that a casino was inside.
There was no signboard. Customers were solicited via word of mouth, police said. Based on real estate web sites, the 80-square-meter unit is valued at around 200 million yen.
Police believe the expensive unit was used to avoid suspicion since most illegal casinos in the capital are inside multi-tenant commercial buildings.