March 28, 2024 3 min read


Bookie Tied to Gambling Scandal Counted on Ohtani Link to Boost Business

A new report suggests that the bookmaker who accepted money from Shohei Ohtani's former interpreter expected more business thanks to link with the baseball star

A recent gambling controversy resulted in the firing of an interpreter for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Japanese baseball star, Shohei Ohtani. The case, which is being investigated involved Ippei Mizuhara, a longtime friend and interpreter for the baseball star. Allegations against Mizuhara claim he stole at least $4.5 million from Ohtani’s bank account. The money was allegedly transferred to an Orange County, California bookmaker named Mathew Bowyer.

During a recent conference, Ohtani said that he was shocked to understand that his longtime friend and interpreter allegedly stole money from him. The baseball star confirmed that he never placed sports bets, knowingly paid bookmakers or gave money to anyone asking them to wager on his behalf.

Initially, Mizuhara claimed that Ohtani helped him with money to cover a gambling debt. Subsequently, the interpreter, who was fired, recused the initial claims. This otherwise means that Ohtani may have been subject to a significant theft which is why Mizuhara is under investigation. Bowyer too is being investigated. But what is further known about the bookmaker who was embroiled in the betting scandal?

According to a report by the Orange County Register, Bowyer has engaged in many businesses over the years. Besides bookmaking, the man who will soon celebrate his 49th birthday was previously a commodities trader and has even operated a Brazilian jujitsu studio. Among his business endeavors is a pest control business that didn’t lift off. Bowyer has also reportedly filed for bankruptcy in 2011.

The Bookmaker Hoped for More Business

Citing unnamed sources, the latest report suggested that Mizuhara has outstanding gambling debts. Still, no details were disclosed about the potential money involved in the alleged gambling debts. The same source claimed that Mizuhara met Bowyer via a person they both knew back in 2021. While the interpreter initially started with small wagers, he gradually increased his spending.

The source, cited by the Orange County Register explained: “When (Bowyer) heard Ohtani’s name was on one of the wire transfers for Mizuhara’s debt, he didn’t shy away from boasting Ohtani was his client because he thought it would bring him more business.” While the bookmaker thought this was good for business, he likely didn’t expect to be tangled in the massive scandal that resulted in the firing of Mizuhara.

In contrast, Diane Bass, the attorney representing Bowyer, confirmed that her client never communicated with Ohtani. She said that Bowyer engaged only with Mizuhara and their communication was verbal and through text messages.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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