Well, as a foreigner or local you may wonder about the gambling law in South Korea. Well, in 2018 Winter Olympics gave South Korea a much-needed boost to its economy, as fans, athletes, and journalists from all over the world flocked to the country for a few weeks.
The bustling nerve center of the games was Alpensia in Pyeongchang, and the South Korean market welcomed them with open arms.
How is The Gambling Law in South Korea?
The gambling industry joined in the fun as well. Huge signs were strewn about Alpensia advertising the nearest casino, which catered to foreigners. The big difference here is that the casinos were only open to foreigners — no Koreans were permitted.
It reignited debate over South Korea’s gambling laws, which have a strange dichotomy in which tourists can gamble but locals cannot. Let’s look at why the country is so anti-gambling, and whether it’s missing out on economic benefits as a result.
In South Korea, lotteries, horse racing, boat racing, and cycling are all legal forms of gambling. Casino gambling, on the other hand, is strictly prohibited, with locals facing a three-year prison sentence if caught playing at a tourist casino.
Furthermore, any citizen who is found to have engaged in the act outside of the country may be prosecuted when they return to the country. However, these charges are rarely brought and are frequently used in tandem with other charges to secure long-term convictions.
Only the Kangwon Casino allows Koreans to gamble out of the country’s 23 land-based casinos. It’s no surprise that getting there is difficult — it’s located far north of the major cities, at the base of a ski resort.
Online Gambling in South Korea
In South Korea, online gambling is strictly prohibited, with the government actively enforcing the law. According to South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, North Korea has begun to operate online gambling sites aimed at South Korean players, as well as punters in China and Malaysia, in order to generate revenue to support the regime.
Due to the fact that they are not controlled by South Korean law, a number of international companies offer casino games to South Koreans. This includes fun casino games and slot machines with themes ranging from music to movies and everything in between.
However, because the government has either blocked or purposefully slowed connections to these companies’ servers, registering and playing with them can be difficult. As a result, many South Koreans gamble online by using virtual private networks (VPNs) to disguise their true location.
There is a shadowy underbelly of illegal South Korean gambling sites that operate over the internet.
However, they are subject to state prosecution, just like their customers, and there have been several high-profile examples of government crackdowns on both gambling operators and players.
As a result, the most reputable and well-known operators avoid the market because they risk being prosecuted if they do.
Why Did The Government Legalize Gambling in South Korea?
Gambling is a lucrative business, and the profits of the world’s largest operators are frequently beyond the comprehension of the average person.
The annual gross gambling yield in the United Kingdom, for example, has just surpassed $15 billion, with the remote sector accounting for a third of that total.
Around 10,000 people work in the industry in the UK, and the tax revenues help to fund the country’s economy. The British government has also imposed a ‘responsibility tax’ on the gambling industry.
Every gambling company operating in the United Kingdom is required by law to donate a portion of its profits to well-known gambling charities. As a result, organizations like Be Gamble Aware are known all over the world for their good work and community support.
In the end of gambling law in South Korea, foreigners are welcome to visit any of South Korea’s casinos, but South Korean citizens are not permitted to do so.
The situation is vaguely similar in the United States, which has an equally contradictory framework in which the federal government resists online gambling despite the fact that tourists in Vegas bring in massive amounts of money.