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Kintamayama

Kotomitsuki accused of gambling- dismissed from Sumo

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What do you mean? They have legal gambling options in Japan as well as when they travel to other countries. AFAIK, this is about illegal gambling...

I'm talking about casinos. Do you have them in Japan, where people can bet huge sums legally against each other and the house, involving substantial amounts, in a public place? I'm not professing to know anything about this, except that you can bet on baseball, for instance, in casinos in the US. While legal here, it is an illegal activity in Japan, no? I'm just saying that all kinds of gambling is encouraged while out of Japan, so why could that not turn into an activity that the boys perceive may not be, despite the statutes, anything really criminally wrong? I certainly don't know the extent of it these days, but the casinos in the US were historically established and run by crime families. As someone else said, either here or on the ML, they're only hurting themselves.

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No, not so much. We do have pachinko, as well as state-sanctioned lottery and recently a "sports lottery"

And enough baseball betting/game-fixing scandals to nearly ruin the sport, last I heard, so they're far ahead of Japan in that department...

Of course that does make me wonder if the topic of this thread will eventually merge with the ever-present yaocho issues somehow. (Sign of disapproval...)

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I'm talking about casinos. Do you have them in Japan, where people can bet huge sums legally against each other and the house, involving substantial amounts, in a public place? I'm not professing to know anything about this, except that you can bet on baseball, for instance, in casinos in the US. While legal here, it is an illegal activity in Japan, no? I'm just saying that all kinds of gambling is encouraged while out of Japan, so why could that not turn into an activity that the boys perceive may not be, despite the statutes, anything really criminally wrong?

I'm pretty sure it's not encouraged at all; I distinctly remember reports prior to the Las Vegas jungyo that all members of the travelling party were cautioned about gambling. (Though obviously not forbidden from engaging in it.)

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I'm talking about casinos. Do you have them in Japan, where people can bet huge sums legally against each other and the house, involving substantial amounts, in a public place? I'm not professing to know anything about this, except that you can bet on baseball, for instance, in casinos in the US. While legal here, it is an illegal activity in Japan, no? I'm just saying that all kinds of gambling is encouraged while out of Japan, so why could that not turn into an activity that the boys perceive may not be, despite the statutes, anything really criminally wrong?

I'm pretty sure it's not encouraged at all; I distinctly remember reports prior to the Las Vegas jungyo that all members of the travelling party were cautioned about gambling. (Though obviously not forbidden from engaging in it.)

Ok, well, that's a sort-of relief. Thanks for the info!

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No, not so much. We do have pachinko, as well as state-sanctioned lottery and recently a "sports lottery"

And enough baseball betting/game-fixing scandals to nearly ruin the sport, last I heard, so they're far ahead of Japan in that department...

True, and I'm sure the underworld has a nice betting system for you to use, but gangsters are tolerated much more by the politicians (and generally given a pass by the media).

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Have they been accused of gambling in rigged events i.e. guaranteed win/corruption etc?

Or are they just accused of normal gambling which most of the civilised world is allowed to do in the open ? (that Japan has, for reasons best known to itself, decided is illegal).

Also, would this be as big a legal deal for a civilian? Obviously being rikishi makes it a press story, but would the individual be going through the same rigmarole if it was a normal man on the street?

Edited by Bealzbob

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Edit:Some people from the Education ministry which is in charge of Sumo are suggesting the Kyokai cancel the Nagoya basho. "There is a possibility of 20 involved sekitori going kyujo, so what then??",

I like the idea they play in an empty arena, no audience, just the wrestlers and the JSA. But too many people would lose money, but what if they decide that the JSA is liable for all the losses. Now that would a penalty, but would it bankrupt the JSA?

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I'm a recent (last 6 years, with casual attention prior) sumo fan, and thus can't pretend to understand the underlying culture of the sport (ed.2. kokugi). But if sumo is as sacred to the Japanese as it is claimed to be, doesn't the hullabalo over the *mostly* *hopefully* innocent gambling of individuals all come back to yaocho?

I say this as an American who follows baseball very closely (and I apologize to those who have no interest; you should probably skip this next part of my post. I'll put a "..." where you can pick it up again if you wish). I believe Barry Bonds should and hopefully will be in the Hall of Fame, despite being more or less the O.J. of steroids. I also believe that Pete Rose should never, ever be considered for reinstatement in the league, let alone induction into the Hall of Fame. People will say that cheating is cheating, but betting on the game no matter what the case (and I realize he admitted a lot, slowly, in the last couple decades that he seems to think is going to brighten people's opinions about him - Oh, he's being honest now! - but only makes him seem like more of an opportunist) poses a threat to the integrity of the game, whether real or imagined.

... (Pick up again now non-baseball fans, if you wish)

Baseball is baseball. Sumo is sumo. Baseball is the national pastime. Sumo is the Kokugi. The are certainly not parallel, and I understand that nobody involved in sumo has been accused of betting on sumo.

But my point of cognitive similarity is thus: Gambling = Possibly associating with organized crime = Extraneal monetary considerations/possible extortion = possibility of yaocho = threat to the integrity of the kokugi.

Others have said this in other words (I think), but I'm just trying to justify why this is becoming such a huge deal. I'm sure there are plenty of factors involved but this is my best attempt at relating to it personally.

Sorry for the wordy (second, I think) post.

Twice sorry for all the parentheticals (It's all I know[!])

P.S. Go Brewers

ed. Sorry, I'm a bad speler

2nd ed. To avoid off-topic criticism, though it's probably coming...

Edited by Backdoor Slider

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Edit:Some people from the Education ministry which is in charge of Sumo are suggesting the Kyokai cancel the Nagoya basho. "There is a possibility of 20 involved sekitori going kyujo, so what then??",

I like the idea they play in an empty arena, no audience, just the wrestlers and the JSA. But too many people would lose money, but what if they decide that the JSA is liable for all the losses. Now that would a penalty, but would it bankrupt the JSA?

But let em real fans in. Those sweet grandpapas from Osaka. Fu.... the money, it's unfair to the Rikishi and the fans.

Free entry for everybody would be best... expanses paid by the NSK as self-punishment...

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I believe Barry Bonds should and hopefully will be in the Hall of Fame, despite being more or less the O.J. of steroids.

Not to sidetrack this to baseball anymore, but I'll go ahead and say that that I feel Bonds should have no place in the hall of fame (Showing respect...) .

P.S. Go Brewers

On the other hand, HELL YA, go Brewers! (Showing respect...)

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P.S. Go Brewers

On the other hand, HELL YA, go Brewers! (Showing respect...)

Colour me nonplussed. Two other Brewers fans here besides me? Intriguing.

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The ex-Makushita rikishi Wakaryuusei (brother of current Makushita rikishi Furuichi) who is suspected of blackmailing Kotomitsuki has been issued an arrest warrant and will be in custody shortly, although he has denied everything.

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The special Hyogiin meeting was held today and things coming out of there do not bode well for Kotomitsuki. A member of the new investigative committee says they will be dealing with the gamblers according to how heavily they were into it money-wise. "Those that played in the millions of yen category will be expelled-(jyomei, as they say in Japanese, something that has never been done before). Those that played for a thousand yen are safe!" he said. It is the heaviest punishment in the Kyokai book. The punishments should be announced at the July 4th rijikai, the same session that will have to decide if the Nagoya basho will go on as planned or not. "Someone who is a central figure in this case will certainly have to leave the sumo world,", hinted the committee member. "They should be kicked out just for consorting with those anti-social types..", he added. The reporter says Kotomitsuki and the hairdresser both qualify for jyomei status.

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Well, that sounds reasonable to me.

I like Kotomitsuki and I'm sorry if he'll be kicked out but he does seem to be the biggest into the trouble!!

Heck I had chanko many times with the Onomatsu Tokoyama san who seemed to be a very nice guy as well, but.... he has to go for his involvement.

As for the others I will be interested to see who was involved for how much... how the punishment works out!

Speaking of gambling, Michinoku admits to betting on golf. Is he talking about playing for money when he plays? In the US everyone plays for money...

Well as for me, I am a crappy gambler so I don't bet on anything. I even only tried pachinko once for 15 minutes. After 500 yen was gone, never went back to a pachinko parlor again...

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Two more go-betweens have surfaced. One is a 34 year old ex-rikishi out of Ounomatsu beya, who together with the tokoyama were in charge of dealing with Kotomitsuki and Kotoshougiku. The other go-between is a 42 year old trainer who had a free pass to the shitakubeya during bashos and was taking care of the rikishi with massages. He was in charge of Toyonoshima, Toyohibiki, Goueidou, Yoshikaze and Futenou's gambling dealings. He also treated Hakuhou lately, but the latter is not implicated in any way in this story.

Edited by Kintamayama

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...... The other go-between is a 42 year old trainer who had a free pass to the shitakubeya during bashos and was taking care of the rikishi with massages.

I hope you have the age right -- otherwise it sounds exactly like one of my earliest sumo friends. (Showing respect...)

Orion

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Warrant issued for ex-sumo wrestler for blackmailing Kotomitsuki

Tokyo police on Wednesday obtained an arrest warrant for a former sumo wrestler on suspicion that he extorted about 3.5 million yen from ozeki Kotomitsuki in connection with illegal gambling on professional baseball games. The Metropolitan Police Department is expected to arrest the former wrestler, Mitsutomo Furuichi, the 38-year-old brother of an active wrestler of the Onomatsu stable who has admitted involvement in gambling, as soon as they find him.

Kotomitsuki earlier told the police that gang group members extorted about 3 million yen in hush money from him to cover up his gambling and demanded another 100 million yen from him, which he did not pay, according to police sources. Investigative sources said Wednesday that a man who is believed to be a gang member was present at a meeting where Furuichi and Kotomitsuki discussed payment of the hush money in March.

Kotomitsuki is suspected of being habitually involved in the gambling, and the police are likely to consider whether to build a criminal case against the wrestler who holds the second-highest rank of the top division.

The sources said Furuichi, a former third-division wrestler, demanded that Kotomitsuki pay about 3.5 million yen in hush money when the ozeki asked a wrestler at the Onomatsu stable last December for 5 million yen over the result of betting. Furuichi subsequently asked Kotomitsuki for an additional 100 million yen.

Stablemaster Otake was present at the meeting between Furuichi and Kotomitsuki, which was held during the 15-day Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka in March. Another stablemaster, Tokitsukaze, shared a car with Kotomitsuki and Otake on their way to the meeting but stayed inside the car throughout the talks.

Kotomitsuki has also spoken to sumo elder Sanoyama about the hush money case, according to the sources. Kotomitsuki is believed to have used a 29-year-old hairdresser at the Onomatsu stable as an intermediary for his link with a bookie since several years ago, and incurred debts of several tens of millions of yen.

The Tokyo police are in the final stages of questioning sumo wrestlers and stablemasters over illegal gambling cases on baseball games that is rocking the ancient national sport.

The Japan Sumo Association, the sport

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If Kotomitsuki is expelled because of this, I assume he will not be allowed to become an oyakata. That's gonna suck!!

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If Kotomitsuki is expelled because of this, I assume he will not be allowed to become an oyakata. That's gonna suck!!

He will be given the Noriko Sakai treatment going forward.

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The special Hyogiin meeting was held today and things coming out of there do not bode well for Kotomitsuki. A member of the new investigative committee says they will be dealing with the gamblers according to how heavily they were into it money-wise. "Those that played in the millions of yen category will be expelled-(jyomei, as they say in Japanese, something that has never been done before). Those that played for a thousand yen are safe!" he said. It is the heaviest punishment in the Kyokai book. The punishments should be announced at the July 4th rijikai, the same session that will have to decide if the Nagoya basho will go on as planned or not. "Someone who is a central figure in this case will certainly have to leave the sumo world,", hinted the committee member. "They should be kicked out just for consorting with those anti-social types..", he added. The reporter says Kotomitsuki and the hairdresser both qualify for jyomei status.

It makes sense in a way that the magnitude of the gambling of Kotomitsuki becomes an issue. Especially when criminal circles like yakuza are involved, the bigger the money, the bigger the risk of becoming a tool for yaocho-based profits. This of course is only possible if there is betting on sumo and yakuza or whoever can profit from knowing about fixed bouts. Naturally being involved in gambling and hence financing yakuza (which undoubtedly doesn't give odds or circumstances that enable big losses for them) can be considered quite malign activity. Yet, since there obviously is a silent approval or "don't cross the line and we will not pursue you with big force" attitude towards yakuza so this kind of publicity isn't good for anyone. I don't understand what good does this do for yakuza either. Even dumber individuals see the background in this so a lesson : "if you gamble and are famous enough or you have something major to lose, you can easily be blackmailed by yakuza". Doesn't this decrease gambling and is bad for yakuza's finances? It would seem so. I don't know how violent yakuza is but if the ex-makushita bloke did this on his own and jeopardised future profits, some local yakuza leader could well have him killed or at least take some fingers. That is quite stupid to demand 100 million after 5 million. Idiot. Not good at sumo, not good at blackmailing.

So Kotomitsuki will be destroyed and quality of life goes down and shame stays, no sumo world for him, no other skills, no reputation. Shit happens indeed.

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P.S. Go Brewers

On the other hand, HELL YA, go Brewers! (Sign of approval...)

Colour me nonplussed. Two other Brewers fans here besides me? Intriguing.

Not really a fan, but I like their logo. Quite sumo-ish.

I mean these Brewers., of course.. ;-)

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Two more go-betweens have surfaced. One is a 34 year old ex-rikishi out of Ounomatsu beya ...

Hmm...this guy? The other ones matching this description are a short-timer active back in 1997 and another rikishi who retired in 2001.

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What do you mean? They have legal gambling options in Japan as well as when they travel to other countries. AFAIK, this is about illegal gambling...

I'm talking about casinos. Do you have them in Japan, where people can bet huge sums legally against each other and the house, involving substantial amounts, in a public place? I'm not professing to know anything about this, except that you can bet on baseball, for instance, in casinos in the US. While legal here, it is an illegal activity in Japan, no? I'm just saying that all kinds of gambling is encouraged while out of Japan, so why could that not turn into an activity that the boys perceive may not be, despite the statutes, anything really criminally wrong? I certainly don't know the extent of it these days, but the casinos in the US were historically established and run by crime families. As someone else said, either here or on the ML, they're only hurting themselves.

Not to distract the thread any more than necessary, but _sports_ gambling in the United States is illegal. There are a few exceptions which are "grandfathered in" because they were in existence at the time the federal government otherwise outlawed it. The most obvious examples:

In Nevada sports book betting is legal in a casino, but bets must be placed in person in the casino itself. There is no legal online/wire bets that may be placed that cross state lines, including the location of the internet servers that maybe handle any bets. (The US Congress has complete jurisdiction over interstate trade, so that covers both the online betting aspect and the fact that most high level sports events occur between individuals/teams that travel across state lines during their normal competition schedules.) Online betting at offshore websites is also illegal as the telephone/internet transmissions necessarily cross state lines.

Horse racing. This is protected due to tradition and that it is an agricultural endeavor, and American politicians always like to help "farmers." So inter-track and offtrack betting (on horse races only) is legal in the states that allow it. Only _about_ a dozen of the fifty states allow gambling on horse races.

I believe there may be a couple more exemptions but they are not in common use, so that's about it.

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Police arrest ex-sumo wrestler for blackmailing Kotomitsuki

Friday 25th June, 06:45 AM JST

TOKYO —

Police arrested a former sumo wrestler Thursday on suspicion of extorting around 3.5 million yen from ozeki Kotomitsuki in connection with illegal gambling on professional baseball games, investigative sources said. The Metropolitan Police Department arrested Mitsutomo Furuichi after taking the 38-year-old former wrestler into custody earlier in the day, the sources said.

An agent for Furuichi had told the metropolitan police that the former wrestler would make himself available soon, so police were prepared to serve the arrest warrant they obtained Tuesday after he was in custody, the investigative sources said earlier.

Kotomitsuki told people close to him around March that he had been blackmailed over the gambling, recognizing that the former wrestler had links with a crime syndicate, according to sources at the Japan Sumo Association.

After being threatened with the exposure of his involvement in the gambling around last December, the ozeki paid about 3.5 million yen in hush money but the former wrestler subsequently demanded more than 100 million yen in cash, the investigative sources said.

Kotomitsuki feared that he or his family members could be harmed, the sumo association sources said.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/v...ing-kotomitsuki

Edited by Otokonoyama
added link for source article

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