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Japanese lawmaker faces prosecution for a casino bribery scandal

A Japanese official who played a very significant role in the legalization and promotion of casino betting in the country was accused of bribery charges. He was also served with an arrest warrant for supposedly getting millions of yen from the Chinese gambling business. The bribe was to the forefront of its offer to build a casino in Japan. Tsukasa Akimoto, a former associate of the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe-led Liberal Democratic Party, got arrested on the 25th of December, 2019. He was arrested over allegations that he received cash from a Chinese web sports lottery firm 500.com to help it win the license for a combined resort with a devoted casino floor in Hokkaido.

The legislator served as a senior vice minister at the Cabinet Office for a year. He was then tasked with the supervision of the drafting of a policy that permits the development of up to three casino resorts based in Japan.

Casino Bribery Scandal – The Charges

Mr. Akimoto was charged with taking a JPY3 million bribery from 500.com consultants in his office in Tokyo. Along with his accusation, the shamed lawmaker was also served with a fresh arrest warrant for supposedly taking additional money than what primary evidence showed. Tokyo prosecutor served Mr. Akimoto with a fresh arrest warrant for admitting that the expenditures for a trip that is worth JPY1.5 million to the betting operator’s business headquarters in Shenzhen, China were, also, covered by 500.com.

According to the prosecutors, the official accepted over JPY7 million in bribes in hard cash. Also, in the form of travel expenses altogether. Apart from his visit to 500.com’s head office, the company allegedly treated Mr. Akimoto on a personal trip to Hokkaido in February 2018. The lawmaker denied any offense and told investigators that he doesn’t remember taking money from 500.com. he went on to say that his administration was the person who was dealing with all payments for his traveling.

Mr. Akimoto’s previous secretary, Akihiro Toyoshima was also accused in connection with the bribery case.

According to reports from local media, 500.com asked Mr. Akimoto to ask for an upsurge in the number of casino licenses that were up for grabs from to five from three. The Chinese business established an office in Japan in 2017. Six months later, it exposed plans to follow development chances in Hokkaido.

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