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Coffee shop owner held for illegal gaming

Date Posted: 1998-03-20

A coffee shop owner was arrested by Naha City police, Wednesday, after a four month police investigation. According to investigators, Eichi Kawamitsu, 43, was reported to police last October by concerned customers after he installed nine gaming machines in his shop and allowed customers to use them. Gaming machines that pay out cash directly or indirectly are illegal in Japan.

Two customers were also arrested as police entered the coffee shop and found them gambling on flower card machines, a type of electronic gaming machine intended for general fun but used more often as a “poker” game, with patrons betting over which card will come up. The games are not meant for gambling or betting and when some customers noticed the existence of gaming and become concerned on their possible impact on minors visiting the shop, they called Naha City police. After an extensive investigation, authorities arrested Kawamitsu and the two customers. The also confiscated nine gaming machines and 990,000 in cash from the machines.

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