Attorney says bookmaker never had contact with Ohtani

The attorney for a bookmaker under US criminal investigation says her client "never spoke with or emailed with or texted with or had any contact" with baseball superstar Ohtani Shohei.

The attorney for bookmaker Mathew Bowyer spoke with CNN on Saturday about the alleged illegal gambling scandal involving Mizuhara Ippei, the former interpreter for Ohtani.

Speaking about how the baseball player's name emerged, the attorney said that during the course of investigation it was learned that his name was on one of the wire transfers to Bowyer's organization to cover a bet. She said as far as Bowyer understood, the bet was from Mizuhara, or it was being covered by Ohtani for his interpreter.

She did not clarify when Mizuhara started illegal betting, but said he met with Bowyer for the first time after an away game against the San Diego Padres in 2022. She added that there is a lot of misreporting about the matter.

The attorney acknowledged Mizuhara was a regular gambler. She said she does not know how often or how much he bet, but it was primarily on soccer and occasionally American football and basketball, but "never baseball."

Asked why Mizuhara continued to bet over a long time, the attorney said initially he was paying consistently. She added that gambling can become a compulsion, and "It got out of hand at a certain point."

She said Mizuhara would say he was a "terrible gambler," as Bowyer says.

She added: "It becomes an addiction for a lot of people. That's why Las Vegas does so well."