South Korea’s past has been marked by gambling. Bets were placed on janggi (similarity to chess) or ssireum, until stricter government legislation. The country’s citizens were forbidden from gambling and were prohibited from visiting casinos in foreign countries under the “Habitual Overseas Gambler” law.
Although laws have been gradually relaxed, it is still illegal to operate an online casino in South Korea. In the 1990s, the government established a state-owned lottery and Sports Toto was created. This government-backed betting platform allows for various sports, including horse-racing and cycling. Any other gambling operation is considered a threat to the government’s monopoly.
South Korean gamblers can only wager on a limited number of games and are not allowed to play online. There are many South Korean companies that have established illegal online casino and sports betting operations. These businesses could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. This strategy is high-risk as South Korean police have conducted several high-profile raids against illegal online betting sites in recent years.
Koreans choose to use offshore bookmakers in order to have higher betting limits, lower taxes and more markets. Ladbrokes and888 both accept Korean currency and are therefore not subject to South Korean law. While the government attempts ban access to these websites, which can sometimes cause internet connection problems, players often bypass government blockages by setting up an electronic wallet and hiding their origins using a VPN service.
South Korea may be interested in online gambling integration, but there’s no evidence to support this. There are provisions in place for one casino for Korean citizens and 16 for tourists. They also allow gambling on traditional bullfighting sports, such as motorboat racing, cycle racing, or motorboat racing.
Online gambling is strictly prohibited, regardless of whether you are a Korean citizen or a tourist to the country. You could face a maximum of US$26,000 in fines and up to five year imprisonment if you are caught online gambling.
Is it legal to use VPNs in South Korea?
Yes, it is. While South Korea’s government is often criticized for its monitoring and censorship of Internet usage by its citizens, VPN use is legal. This is due to the fact that South Korea has many corporations that deal with foreign clients or partners. Therefore, VPNs are necessary to protect data and access websites that may otherwise be prohibited. Individual-style VPNs could be affected by South Korea’s censorship crackdown. As such, travelers should download and install VPN clients before they travel to South Korea.