Japan is currently creating a legal framework to operate casinos via a system of integrated resorts, but concerns persist that they'll be prime targets for organized crime once they're finally up and running by 2024.

"The yakuza have changed over the years, but one thing won't change: They're all about the money," former FBI Special Agent James Stern says. "Tradition comes second."

Many of the domestic yakuza syndicates were originally gambling federations and, as such, they've effectively been operating illegal casinos for decades. Indeed, it's not hard to imagine that gambling resorts will be attractive targets for gangs.