Japan: Akimoto sentenced to four years in prison

Akimoto was found guilty of receiving bribes.
Akimoto was found guilty of receiving bribes.

Tsukasa Akimoto has been sentenced to four years in prison after being found guilty of attempting to bribe two people connected to the Chinese gaming company 500.com.

Japan.- The politician Tsukasa Akimoto has been sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment for taking bribes in relation to now-abandoned plans for a casino project in Hokkaido Prefecture in the north of Japan. 

The Tokyo District Court has sentenced Akimoto to four years’ imprisonment without probation and imposed a fine of JPY7.5m (US$68,300).

Prosecutors had demanded a five-year prison term and a JPY7.6m (US$69,000) fine, noting that Akimoto started to take bribes shortly after taking office as the state minister in charge of affairs related to integrated resorts. 

Akimoto was accused of having accepted an all-expenses-paid trip for him and his family to Rusutsu Villa, Hokkaido, from Chinese gaming company 500.com when he has a member of the House of Representatives.

Nagasaki and Casinos Austria sign master agreement for IR

Nagasaki Prefectural Government and Casinos Austria International Japan Inc have signed a master agreement for the area’s IR bid.

The agreement names the project the “Kyushu-Nagasaki IR”, referring to the Kyushu region, of which Nagasaki form a part. The Nagasaki Prefectural Government also revealed the planned total investment for the IR development is JPY350bn (US$3.2bn). 

Hodo Nakamura, Nagasaki’s governor, said: “The operator’s business proposal is backed by a business track record in Europe and other international markets and aims to realise a traditional and luxurious integrated resort of the world’s highest standard.”

He added: “The Kyushu-Nagasaki IR will vitalise the local economy and tourism industry affected by Covid-19, and also contribute to the development of the Kyushu region and our country.”

Casinos Austria said its plans to build a casino resort with 220 gaming tables and 2,200 slot machines. It said the casino would have a total footprint of around 9,000 square metres (96,875 sq feet) and would “offer a gaming experience of the highest international standards.”

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500.com gambling integrated resorts