As legislators in Japan decide whether to pass legislation to legalize resort casinos, police in Kanagawa Prefecture have announced that they recently busted an illegal baccarat venue that had reportedly racked up revenues of around $9.63 million after only ten months.
According to a television report from broadcaster TV Asahi Corporation, the illegal casino was known as “Tiger” and operated in a commercial building in the Kohoku Ward business district of the nation’s second largest city, Yokohama.
Following an anonymous tip, police explained that they had instigated a surveillance operation on the facility before carrying out a pre-planned raid five days later. This incursion resulted in law enforcement officials seizing six baccarat tables and just over $38,500 in cash while four employees including Kiyoharu Kishi, the facility’s 51-year-old manager, were arrested.
TV Asahi Corporation reported that the illegal gambling den was equipped with a video camera to monitor its entrance but that this had not been sufficient to give the venue’s operators sufficient time to dispose of any incriminating evidence. It had moreover not helped the eight gamblers who were on hand at the time to escape before police arrived.
The constitution of Japan bans most forms of western gambling but the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of President Shinzo Abe has been attempting to change this prohibition for many years without success. A cross-party and pro-casino faction of Japan’s parliament announced last month that it would introduce amending legislation during the current Diet session, which concludes in late-November, although numerous analysts have predicted that the likelihood is high that this effort will eventually prove unsuccessful.