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Kabukicho Internet casino busted, 3 arrested

Takeshi Yoshida
Takeshi Yoshida (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday announced the bust of online casino Internet Nevada operating illegally in Shinjuku Ward’s red-light district of Kabukicho, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 2).

Officers took the 55-year-old manager of the club, Takeshi Yoshida, and two employees into custody for the illegal operation of a gambling venue for the purpose of financial gain. All three of the suspects have reportedly admitted to the allegations.

On September 25, investigators raided the establishment, whose entry signboard advertised it as a 24-hour Internet cafe, and discovered a 63-year-old man playing baccarat and poker on one of 12 computers linked to an overseas gambling site. The man was subsequently arrested.

Aside from wagering on motorcycle, horse, boat and bicycle racing, gambling is prohibited in Japan. Playing pachinko is not classified as gambling since winnings are returned to the player at a separate venue. The same system is in place for slot machines.

Internet Nevada was based on a points system. Winning bettors were paid 100 yen for the accumulation of every point, or winning bet. Since opening in January, police authorities estimate that Internet Nevada generated 70 million yen in revenue.

“I thought it was a quick and easy way to earn money,” Yoshida is quoted by TBS.