The gambling industry in South Korea can be summarized as: all forms of betting and gambling are prohibited unless certain legislations permit them. Listed below are some of the regulatory commissions and their respective gambling or betting activities:
The MCST or the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism – They regulate the betting activities in the country like the casino industry, cycle racing, sports promotion betting tickets, and motorboat racing.
The MAFRA or the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs – They regulate traditional bullfighting and horse racing.
The MOSF or the Ministry of Strategy and Finance – They regulate the lottery business in the country.
For more information about MOSF, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Economy_and_Finance_(South_Korea) to find out more.
These are all types of legal wagering or gambling activities in South Korea. They are all permissible according to the country’s laws. For example, betting through casino establishments is made legal through the Tourism Promotion Law. Lottery betting is allowed because of the Lottery Tickets and Lottery Fund Act.
And horse race betting is legalized because of the Korean Racing Authority Law. But casinos in the state are only available for expatriates, tourists or foreigners. Locals are only allowed in Gangwoland. This casino relaxed their restrictions against the entry of locals in the establishments in according to a law called Special Act on Support of Development of Abandoned Mine Areas.
Online or gambling through the Internet is also prohibited under the state’s laws. The reason is that rules in the country do not make a distinction between online gambling and their land-based counterpart.
According to the Criminal Code: Article 247, anyone who is conducting illegal betting in the country is subject to criminal prosecution and can face five years in prison or pay a fine of 30 million Korean Won or more or less $26,000. The law also applies to online betting operations. Sale of lottery tickets through the Internet is permitted.
Individual players caught violating the law can also be prosecuted. According to Criminal Code: Article 246, locals who will be caught gambling in unlicensed service operators (land-based or online gambling establishment) can face a fine of five million Korean Won or more or less $4,370, but wagering for monetary pleasure is exempted.
This clause will decriminalize recreational and small-scale wagering. Habitual bettors or gamblers, on the other hand, can face three years in prison or will receive a hefty fine of 20 million Korean Won or $17,480
Although it is impossible to enforce an online or digital betting ban on the individual level, the Korean government made it clear that Internet gamblers can face penalties if caught while playing inside the country. Online or Internet censorship in the country is described as pervasive.
According to reports, websites of foreign Internet gambling operators are being blocked by Internet Service Providers in the country. There are also reports saying some financial institutions are blocking transactions to and from digital or online casinos – mostly because the service providers are from China – but none of the laws or official sources mention this anywhere.
Online gambling sites accepting local players
Although online wagering in the country per se is illegal and in theory, players can face jail time or fines if caught, a lot of foreign 먹튀검증 or major sites accepts registration originating from South Korea. Individual players can only be prosecuted in rare cases. Nevertheless, if a person decided to place their bets online, primarily if they are residing in this country, they need to make sure that they know all the risks.
Casino in South Korea
Land-based gambling establishments or casinos in the country is regulated and legal under the TPA or the Tourism Promotion Act. But out of all the casinos in the country, only one is permitted by the government to allow locals to enter (Gangwonland).
Currently, there is 14 land-based casino establishment in the country listed on Google Maps. However, the figure is only the minimum number since there is a possibility that some establishments or companies are not listed on Google Maps.
Although all forms of online betting are criminalized and prohibited by the government, the law is phrased in a way that basically exempts recreational and small-scale gambling activities; or at least they impose a minor fine on people or companies caught in illegal activities. Not only that, banning online betting is next to impossible to enforce in any country in the world, not only in South Korea.
What is TPA? Click here to find out more.
None of the land-based establishments in the state appears to operate bingo games. Outside licensed bingo venues, playing bingo in unregistered establishments is prohibited. The Korean National Lottery also doesn’t offer games to their players.
All betting laws in the state apply to Internet bingo. Although the government is blocking sine foreign websites, it is unknown whether the blacklisting includes online bingo websites. No place can enforce bands on online gambling on an individual player level totally. Not only that, the South Korean government makes it crystal clear that it doesn’t wish to ban it either, that is why recreational or small-scale Internet gamblers in South Korea are not in any danger from the government.
Internet poker is licensed and legal in South Korea, although playing the game is limited to licensed websites or inland gambling establishments. As a sign that the restriction on gambling is starting to ease, there is an annual event in the country called Asia Pacific Poker Tour that is held in the country’s capital, Seoul. The event was funded by one of the most prominent and the biggest international online poker company in the world, Poker Stars.
Internet sports wagering in the country are the only legal form of sports gambling that is backed by Proto and Sports Toto. Betting on horse races legally that is offered by the Korea Racing Authority is also an option for a lot of sports bettors. Since most of these service providers do not have a platform, players caught using foreign online bookmakers are prosecuted, but it seldom happens or none at all.