A ruling party lawmaker who has been a proponent of casino resorts in Japan was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of receiving ¥3.7 million in bribes from a Chinese gambling operator.

The arrest of Tsukasa Akimoto, a 48-year-old member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party who sits in the House of Representatives, has cast a cloud over the government's policy to promote casinos to buoy the economy, with opposition forces set to present a bill to the Diet next year that would ban casino operations.

Akimoto has denied performing any favors for the Chinese company, 500.com Ltd., which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.