Despite safety concerns about the environment and children’s safety, the KRA decided to proceed with plans to open a betting center in Yongsan.
Gambling news reports that a new betting center in the district of Yongsan, Seoul, has caused an uproar from the local residents. They are against the newly opened Korea Racing Authority’s (KRA) off-track horse racing betting shop.
More than 50,000 have signed a petition to stop the betting shop from operating in their neighborhood. The protesters want to see it relocated to another part of town. Only the previous weekend more than 100 blocked entrance into the center and prevented KRA employees from entering the facility.
Korean gambling laws do permit KRA activities, however local residents are concerned that the gambling center will be a serious risk to their children. KRA says that there are 30 of similar center spread across the country.
However, the district of Yongsan is part of a bigger problem. The extended neighborhood is a highly residential area and has five school less than 300 meters away from the betting shop.
KRA initially had bigger plans
Despite the locals’ concerns over safety, the KRA went ahead with plans to open the facility. But once the protests commenced, the authority decided to scale down some segments of the center. Initial plans of the betting shop were supposed to accommodate up 1,500 punters, while now it can only service 400 players.
The principal of Sungshim Girl’s High School, Kim Yul-ok, expressed her strong desire to see the betting center close down. “I’d like to ask the KRA why they had to ruin our safe living environment because of money.”