City investigates and finds it to be true…! The reality of “high school baseball betting” rampant in Matsuyama City Public Wholesale Market, Ehime
More than 1,000 people participated, and there were testimonies of millions of yen in money being spent. ......
A baseball betting game involving a high school baseball game is running rampant in the public wholesale market in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture. FRIDAY received such information in mid-November.
It is said that hundreds of fishermen and middlemen enter and leave the market where gambling is prevalent every day. FRIDAY headed to Matsuyama and contacted a veteran retail store owner who was the operator of the gambling. He testified in detail.
He said, “I have been betting on the Koshien Stadium twice a year for more than 20 years now. We have been doing it for more than 20 years now. A tavern on the grounds used to act as the body of the game, but I took over about 10 years ago. Even though it’s called baseball betting, it’s something done among friends, and the bets are 100 or 200 yen per unit. If we could collect 200,000 yen in total bets, we were doing well. When Osaka Toin won the championship, we won only about 1,900 yen.
FRIDAY also obtained a list of the number of units used for betting, which was reportedly prepared by the promoter. This person said that it was “just a hobby among my friends,” but did not deny the possibility that these papers were circulating. In fact, another fisherman who had participated in the gambling revealed the following: “People who don’t do it in the market don’t do it at all.
Another fisherman who had actually participated in the game revealed, “It’s so common that no one in the market does it. I think there are several hundred wholesalers, middlemen, buyers, and fishermen. The fact that this has been going on for more than 20 years and is now becoming a problem seems to me to have something to do with the internal turmoil in the market. Many fishermen have long complained that some market officials have been trading fish at unfair prices.”
As the name “public” implies, the city of Matsuyama has jurisdiction over the wholesale market. The city has already become aware of the prevalence of baseball gambling and has begun an investigation. Hiroki Ikeda, in charge of the fishery market in the Market Management Division of the Industry and Economy Department of Matsuyama City, responded to our interview, “(Around the end of October), we were informed of the situation.
We received information (around the end of October), and when we asked the people whose names were mentioned, they told us that they were involved in (gambling). They are wholesalers, intermediate wholesalers, and retailers. We are not an investigative agency, so we have not been told the amount of money or other details of the scale, but we will provide the police with the information and cooperate with their investigation if necessary. This may sound strange, but for our part, we had no knowledge (of the gambling).”
The person in charge emphasized that he would report the matter to the police. Since baseball betting is often a source of funding for organized crime groups, the full extent of the problem is still awaited.
From the December 16, 2022 issue of FRIDAY