In 2019, Japanese casino junket NINE & PICTURES found itself suddenly scrambling to cover its financial obligations. The company had been around since 2007, and its downfall didn’t come from overwhelming competition or a decline in the junket market. Instead, it came because one individual using the company as his own personal piggy bank, spending over $1 million of company funds to gamble. Now, NINE & PICTURES wants the man to be prosecuted and is hoping it can convince Osaka’s prosecutors to charge him for his crimes.Japanese media outlet Mainichi Shimbun reported on the case, identifying the man as the former president, as well as a founder, of NINE & PICTURES, but stopping short of naming him. He reportedly used the company’s bank account to cover gambling trips to Macau between 2014 and 2016 and apparently wasn’t a very good gambler, as he lost everything. Not only did he waste $1.4 million of the junket’s money, but he also ran up $4.8 million in personal debt, forcing him to file for bankruptcy.The money had been given to NINE & PICTURES in 2014 as part of a $3.3-million financial arrangement to help the company expand. Of that amount, $1.42 million was sent to a Macau casino in November 2014 to be used as security. However, the former president used it to gamble and, unable to repay the loan, NINE & PICTURES was forced into bankruptcy. The company is hoping it can find a way for prosecutors to go after the man, but it can’t expect to receive any type of financial reimbursement. Obviously a failed businessman and gambler, the former president wouldn’t have the means to make good on his outstanding debt.NINE & PICTURES initially had high hopes for its future. As it continued to grow, it chose Osaka as its headquarters in 2017 and was well on its way to being involving in the gambling and travel industries, as well as having its hand in a few other markets. It reportedly holds licenses in several locations, including Australia, Macau, the Philippines and the US, and has agreements with over 20 casinos around the world. While it has been able to tread water and try to recover from the massive losses, it has faced added difficulty because of COVID-19. The company is most likely anxious to see Japan’s integrated resort market get up and running, as the country is expected to allow junkets to provide services to casinos. That, however, won’t be possible until around 2028 when the first IR is expected to be ready.
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