Cellphone gambling ring bust by Japanese cops

130 million yen in revenues generated at mobile gambling website

The police in Tokyo have reported taking down a cell phone gambling ring, and the related arrest of a website operator where 130 million yen in revenues were generated through mobile gambling.

The Yomiuri Shimbun quoted spokesmen from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, who claimed that the action was the first in a series of crackdowns planned against mobile gambling sites.

Tomoyuki Miyamoto (30) and two others were arrested for operating a mobile phone site that offered financial reward to punters who won janken (rock-paper-scissors) games. Miyamoto is the president of Seeds Style Co., an internet operation company based in the Shinagawa Ward of Tokyo city.

According to the MPD, Miyamoto and the other two suspects opened janken gambling corners on au and SoftBank Mobile's official sites between October 2009 and May 2010. A total of 27,000 people, including minors, used the gambling service during the period, and the company made about 130 million yen in sales.

Miyamoto and the others were arrested on suspicion of conducting illegal gambling with nine customers, including a 41-year-old unemployed Hokkaido man. The MPD will be sending its investigation documents to the public prosecutors for a decision on the nine customers.

Miyamoto told investigators he consulted a lawyer before launching the site and therefore assumed there would be no legal problems with it, the MPD said.

On the janken site, users bought betting tickets for 315 yen per game, and received 1,000 yen if they won three times in a row, and 10,000 yen if they won five consecutive times. The money was transferred to customers' bank accounts.

According to the MPD, the probability of winning five times in a row was 0.9 percent. Of the company's 130 million yen in revenue, only about 1.43 million yen was paid to customers.

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