Will be Gambling in South Korea Illegal?

Gambling is without doubt one of the popular pastimes on earth. However using its potentially addictive dynamics and the social consequences that this may entail it’s been deemed illegal in lots of countries around the globe. As generally in most of Asia gambling in South Korea is usually, in principle, illegal. It declares in the Criminal Act, Article 246 that anyone who gambles or bets for the purpose of gaining property will be punished by a fine of up to 5 million Won. Article 247 prohibits the opening of a place for the use of gambling for a revenue and sets a punishment of imprisonment for no more than 3 years or a fine as high as 20 million Won.
This law is not a blanket exclusion of gambling and, in Korea you, it is possible to still gamble under restricted conditions – a good example being for the advertising of tourism. There has also been laws enacted allowing gambling using circumstances.
For example:
a. Casinos
The laws differ for foreigners and Korean residents. As it stands right now the Special Act on the Assistance to the Expansion of Abandoned Mine Locations allows the running of the only land based gambling establishment in Korea that Korean residents may enter. It really is located in Gangwon province, in an abandoned mining district, the remote countryside helping to further restrict accessibility for Koreans.
For non-Korean citizens the Tourism Promotion Work offers permission for hotels to use casinos that only overseas nationals are allowed to enter. Such casinos are operating in Seoul, Incheon, Jeju Island and are heavily supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
b. Lotteries
There are 2 lotteries open to Korean residents the Lotto and the Toto ( a sports lottery). The functioning of and advertising of tickets are regulated under the Lottery Fund Act.
c. Racing
Horse racing and betting at the venues is definitely permitted under the Korean Horse Affairs Association Act and comes beneath the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Other race sports are also legal and regulated, included in these are cycling and electric motor boat racing although these both are available under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Customs and Tourism.
d. Online Gambling
This is currently a gray area as Korea does not have relevant regulations for the specifics of online gambling. Arguments could be made for both sides – for instance, the monetary transactions will be taking place beyond Korean jurisdiction so can by no means be at the mercy of Korean law, hence it is extremely unlikely that your money will be seized by anyone. However the end user is still in Korea so may be at the mercy of the national laws that apply to general gambling. The National Police Agency has established the Criminal Activity Investigation Crew to help control any potentially unlawful on the web activities, including gambling. This surely implies that it will be ‘considered’ illegal; although at present no cases have been brought to test this.

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