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Jul 16, 2014

Court sentences ex-Deutsche Japan banker for bribery, judge says practice “condoned”

TOKYO, July 16 (Reuters) – A Tokyo judge on Wednesday handed
a former Deutsche Bank salesman a suspended prison sentence for
bribing a pension fund official with dinners and golf outings,
and said more senior officials at the bank had “tacitly
condoned” the practice.

Akira Ando, the judge overseeing the case at the Tokyo
District Court, gave Shigeru Echigo, who worked at the Japanese
investment arm of Deutsche Bank, a 10-month prison sentence,
suspended for three years.

Jul 16, 2014

Ex-Deutsche salesman gets sentenced in Tokyo for bribery

TOKYO, July 16 (Reuters) – A former Deutsche Bank salesman
in Tokyo was handed a suspended prison sentence on Wednesday for
bribing a pension fund official in a case that has put a
spotlight on the compliance practices of the Japanese arm of
Germany’s largest bank.

In a ruling at the Tokyo District Court, Shigeru Echigo was
given a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for three years.
Suspended sentences are common in Japan for white-collar crimes,
although the prosecution had sought imprisonment of one year.

Jun 26, 2014

Caesars CEO eyes debt deal, says can finance Japan foray

TOKYO, June 26 (Reuters) – Caesars Entertainment Corp
will likely agree to a debt restructuring with
bondholders within a year and should have no problem financing a
foray into the Japanese market, the debt-strapped casino
operator’s chief executive said on Thursday.

Gary Loveman said he believed Caesars’ finances – its debt
carries a speculative grade rating – would not put it at a
disadvantage as it seeks a licence in Japan, where a bill to
legalise casinos could be put to a vote in parliament this year.

Jun 17, 2014

Ex-Deutsche salesman says was told to mask Japan pension expenses

TOKYO, June 17 (Reuters) – A former Deutsche Securities
salesman in Tokyo said he was told to hide evidence of
entertaining public pension officials, and that an executive who
in 2013 became head of the investment bank in Japan had been
informed of the potentially illegal practice.

Shigeru Echigo, the former salesman, told a court hearing in
Tokyo on Tuesday that entertaining pension fund officials was a
widespread practice within the bank and made new claims of how
high up knowledge of the practice had climbed.

Jun 16, 2014

Deutsche managers knew about, didn’t stop entertainment of Japan pension funds – regulator

TOKYO, June 16 (Reuters) – A pattern of spending on hostess
bars and overseas junkets for local pension fund officials went
unchecked by senior managers at Deutsche Bank’s
Japanese securities arm, who failed to prevent or turned a blind
eye to expenses that could be prosecuted as bribery, previously
undisclosed details of a regulatory investigation show.

Deutsche Securities was ordered by Japan’s Financial
Services Agency in December to bolster its compliance after the
Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC) found it
spent the equivalent of almost $62,000 to entertain officials at
three pension funds between 2010 and 2012.

Jun 4, 2014

Former Universal staff files criminal complaint against casino tycoon Okada

TOKYO, June 4 (Reuters) – A former employee of Universal
Entertainment Corp filed a criminal complaint against
Kazuo Okada, the Japanese firm’s billionaire founder, alleging
he ordered the payment of bribes to advance a still-unfinished
casino project in the Philippines.

Takafumi Nakano submitted his complaint to Tokyo District
Public Prosecutor’s Office in late May, a copy reviewed by
Reuters showed. It was not clear if the prosecutors’ office,
which declined to comment, would investigate his claims. Nakano
has made similar claims in an ongoing civil defamation case
against his former employer.

Jun 3, 2014

Japan parliament to start debating casino bill next week -lawmaker

TOKYO, June 3 (Reuters) – Japan’s parliament will likely
start discussing next week a bill to legalise casino gambling
although proponents may hold off voting until the autumn in a
strategic move to prevent opponents from killing it, a key
supporter of the bill said on Tuesday.

Takeshi Iwaya, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP) and a leading casino proponent, said he had some
success in recent weeks in garnering support for the bill from a
coalition partner and the main opposition party.

May 14, 2014

Panel examining Universal Entertainment payments disbands

TOKYO, May 14 (Reuters) – A panel of outside experts
convened by Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp to investigate
$40 million in payments related to its Philippine casino project
said it was disbanding after the company failed to disclose
their findings to the public.

The four-person panel, headed by a former high-ranking
police official, said in a brief statement distributed to
reporters in Tokyo that it would disband indefinitely because
Universal had not made public an interim report submitted to the
company in March. It did not elaborate.

May 12, 2014

Taxing times for pachinko as Japan considers casino gamble

OSAKA/TOKYO (Reuters) – Moves towards legalizing casinos in Japan have reignited a debate over the legal status of pachinko, with a potential new tax mooted for a $200 billion gaming industry that has existed for decades on the fringes of the law.

Pachinko, a slot-cum-pinball form of gambling, is a national obsession, with one in six Japanese playing the game, though that number is declining as younger generations prefer to play games on their mobile phones.

May 11, 2014

U.S. casino billionaires place bets in Japan’s tale of two cities

OSAKA/TOKYO, May 11 (Reuters) – Two U.S. billionaires are
betting on rival cities, Tokyo and Osaka, to be the first in
Japan to open casino resorts – once the government gives the
go-ahead to legalise gambling.

Japan is one of the world’s last untapped gaming markets and
could become the third largest gambling destination after Macau
and the United States, with annual revenue of over $40 billion,
according to broker CLSA.