MLB Star Interpreter Steal to Gamble Online MLB Star Interpreter Steal to Gamble Online

A huge sporting star like Shohei Ohtani is always in the news, ‌but not usually under these nefarious circumstances. Ohtani has recently found himself entangled in an illegal sports betting scandal following the dismissal of his interpreter – and friend, Ippei Mizuhara, by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mizuhara faces accusations of embezzling millions of dollars from Ohtani that he spent gambling online… illegally.

According to the LA Times, Mizuhara is said to have used the embezzled money to place bets in California, where online betting is still against the law. It has been reported that approximately $4.5 million was transferred via wire transfer from Ohtani’s bank account to an associate of Mathew Bowyer, a Los Angeles resident currently under investigation by federal authorities for allegedly operating a bookmaking operation.

While bank records showed Ohtani’s name on two $500,000 payments that had been labelled as loans in September and October, the MLB clarified in a statement to The Athletic that he isn’t currently facing any disciplinary action and isn’t believed to be under investigation by the league.

An Innocent Victim?

While Mizuhara insists that Ohtani has never engaged in betting himself, the situation is somewhat confused by Mizuhara’s conflicting statements. In an interview with ESPN, Mizuhara claimed that he’d informed Ohtani about his gambling debts, stating that Ohtani was not happy with the situation and offered to help him to prevent future incidents. However, the following day, Mizuhara contradicted himself, claiming that Ohtani didn’t know anything about his debts and hadn’t transferred any money to Bowyer’s associate – despite Ohtani’s name having appeared on a number of transfers.

Mizuhara explained that he believed placing bets through Bowyer’s Southern California operation was legal, having previously placed bets with DraftKings. He also asserted that he had never bet on baseball, a strict prohibition by MLB, and clarified that players are allowed to place bets on other sports as long as the sportsbook operation is legal in their area.

According to ESPN, a source revealed that Bowyer knew all about the name on the transfers but turned a blind eye – as long as he got the money. Allegedly, Bowyer also implied that Ohtani was one of his clients to try to attract more business. This is a claim that could potentially lead to felony charges. Apparently, Bowyer’s house was raided by federal authorities in October, which led to the seizure of several items, including casino chips, a money-counting machine, wads of cash and various luxury items.

The Mystery Continues

What exactly has happened is still yet to be established. Ohtani certainly is a name synonymous with money – as he is the highest-paid baseball player ever in North American history. However, the question is, what has he been doing with this money?

For now, it seems we must take Mizuhara’s assertion that Ohtani knew nothing about his interpreter’s illegal gambling and the money was taken from him without his knowledge. However, it will certainly be interesting to see where this investigation leads.

Last Updated: May 3, 2024

Erik Jensen is a seasoned gambling expert that has previous worked at one of the largest igaming companies globally. He has also extensive experience working with online casino campaigns for the biggest companies in the world. In the last 5 years Erik has solely been focusing on the Canadian market to give the best up to date news and best casino bonuses available for the Canadian casino players.

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