South Korea’s Gambling Law

Korea is one of a small number of countries in the world that differentiates Korean citizens and foreigners with regard to the legality of gambling via the gambling locale.  Casino gambling, for Koreans, is legally prohibited in all but one casino.  However, foreigners may gamble in a variety of casinos located in most major tourist cities.

Korean Gambling Law

Korean criminal law applies to Korean citizens throughout the world,  Thus, Korean citizens are, even, prohibited from gambling outside of Korea.  Prosecution, for overseas gambling by Koreans, sometimes occurs, however, these prosecutions are, usually, part of a more substantial allegation against the individual.

The, only, exception, for Koreans, to the Gambling Laws is casino gambling at Kangwon Land.  The Special Act on the Assistance to Development of Abandoned Mines established the legal framework for the development of the Kangwon Land casino and the law and related laws allows Koreans to patronize this casino. The casino is in a remote area a few hours South of Seoul.

Foreigners, however, may gamble at any legally established casino in Korea.  The Tourism Promotion Law established the legal framework that has allowed the establishment of casinos throughout Korea for the use by, solely, foreigners.

Koreans have the opportunity, within Seoul and in many major cities, to gamble via lotteries, ToTo, horse racing, powerboat racing, and cycle racing only.

Sean Hayes may be contacted at:  Sean is co-chair of the Korea Practice Team at IPG Legal. He is the first non-Korean attorney to have worked for the Korean court system (Constitutional Court of Korea) and one of the first non-Koreans to be a regular member of a Korean law faculty. Sean is ranked, for Korea, as one of only two non-Korean lawyers as a Top Attorney by AsiaLaw.  Sean is known for his proactive New York-style street-market advice and his aggressive and non-conflicted advocacy.

Sean works with some of the leading retired judges, prosecutors and former government officials working in Korea.

Sean’s profile may be found at: Sean C. Hayes

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