Banned pitcher Kasahara opens up about gambling

I was relieving most of the time and wasnt able to tell when I was pitching.

I didnt bet (on the Giants games), because I wouldnt be able to concentrate on the game, Kasahara said.

I got close (to the restaurant owner) when I went to his place to eat three years ago. My acquaintance introduced me to the graduate student.

I became interested when the owner showed me the handicaps around the spring of 2014.

Former Yomiuri Giants pitcher Shoki Kasahara, banned indefinitely by Nippon Professional Baseball for betting on baseball, told Kyodo News that gambling in general was customary within his team before he bet on his own sport.

Ive besmirched the history of Yomiuri. Kasahara said the habit of gambling, at the team dorm and in the clubhouse, already existed when he joined the team in 2009, and claimed 100,000 (roughly $895) would sometimes change hands on a single bet.

I didnt (fix matches), and wouldnt have been able to do so in the first place. He added he was paying his debts to the graduate student by hand and through his bank account for the owner.

We players were betting money on cards and mahjong in the first place, and our recognition that it was illegal was low, Kasahara said. Im sorry for my family, classmates, team staff and fans, Kasahara said. I took part in that.

Kasahara denied betting on his teams games, or being involved in any match-fixing.

NPB is offering lenience to players who confess to betting on baseball before Monday, but Kasahara said he didnt know any more players engaged in betting on baseball.

Kasahara has admitted his involvement in voluntary questioning by the Tokyo metropolitan police, which is looking to charge the former pitcher with gambling by collecting records of communications and bank account transfers in its investigation.. Im taking a hard look at myself and regret betting on baseball.

The 25-year-old, released by Yomiuri along with three other pitchers, revealed he was informed of the odds, or handicaps, for games through his mobile phone by a university graduate student and a restaurant owner, both identified as habitual baseball gamblers, which is illegal in Japan.

Kasahara said the odds were decided by the two, the bankers, and he was predicting the outcome of games