Press "Enter" to skip to content

Osaka: Police find manual detailing how to rip-off customers with claw crane machines

Takeshi Odaira
Takeshi Odaira of Amusement Trust (TBS News)

OSAKA (TR) – As a part of the investigation into the rigging of arcade games, Osaka Prefectural Police have discovered a manual used by employees that detailed how to ensure that customers never won prizes, reports TBS News (Dec. 25).

On Saturday, police found that two of five game centers managed by Amusement Trust, both located in the Minami entertainment area, had claw crane machines — whereby a player attempts to grab a prize with a mechanical arm — rigged such that winning is impossible.

Six employees, who were arrested on suspicion of fraud, said that Takeshi Odaira, the 33-year-old president of the company, taught them how to rig the games. However, the president, who was sent to prosecutors on Monday, denies the charges.

According to police, four women were defrauded by the suspects in inserting a total of 470,000 yen into such machines without claiming a single prize.

In the latest development, police also arrested Akinori Tsukuda, a 30-year-old shop assistant, with producing a manual that instructed employees how to deceive customers. The manual, which was distributed to all of the parlors, 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 between 500 yen and 10,000 yen for a chance to claim a variety of a prizes, including stuffed animals and tablet computers.

According to police, 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.

New cases surface

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.

Since the initial arrests over the weekend, however, 80 additional reports of fraud have surfaced. One person is said to have lost 1.65 million yen, police said.