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Coffee shop owners busted for illegal gambling operations

Date Posted: 2010-10-28

It’s illegal, but many teahouse and café owners modify game machines in their establishments to pay out cash to gambling winners, and sometimes people get caught.

A Naha City Police crackdown nabbed owners of three coffee shops who’d had their machines modified, and allowed customers to gamble. Police say the three are part of 485 licensed coffee shops with Prefecture approval to operate game consoles for entertainment only. Police began surveillance stakeouts after learning of the gambling operations in June.

In one case, an undercover customer was sent inside a teahouse. Seven customers were present during one teahouse raid, and police are preparing paperwork for the prosecutor about their illegal gambling. Police say their investigations thus far show some 32 machines have been identified as modified.

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