Gambling execs sentenced in bribery case

The two men were charged for paying over US$72,000 in bribes.
The two men were charged for paying over US$72,000 in bribes.

Two former 500.com advisors have received suspended jail sentences in a case related to Japan’s IR scheme.

Japan.- Two former advisors of the Chinese lottery platform 500.com have been handed suspended jail sentences for trying to bribe a Japanese lawmaker in exchange for information on the country’s licence scheme for integrated resorts (IRs). 

The Tokyo District Court sentenced Masahiko Konno to two years in prison and Katsunori Nakazato to one year and 10 months. Both sentences are suspended.

500.com had already anticipated its interest in participating in one of the bids for an IR in Japan when, through these executives and other promotors, it invited Tsukasa Akimoto, a former member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party with his family on an all-expenses-paid ski trip to Hokkaido.  

Akimoto was also recently arrested for trying to bribe Konno and Nakazato to give false testimony in the trial against him.  

Konno and Nakazato were charged for paying 7.6 million yen (US$72,000) in bribes between 2017 and 2018 in relation to the IR scheme. 

They requested leniency from the court on the grounds that 500.com has withdrawn from participating in Japan’s IR business, and because the bribery was not directly linked to the bid itself. However, the judge considered that they acted against their duties and public trust. 

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