South Korean Football Association (KFA) plans to cooperate with its counterparts in China and Japan to crack down on illegal gambling and match-fixing that has been rapidly increasing and tainting football games within the region.
South Korea’s recent discovery of a massive match-fixing syndicate, led to the eventual arrest of five K-League football players. Since that time, football lost its mystical aura in South Korea.
KFA chairman, Cho Chung-yun told online gambling news in South Korea: “The recent turn of events surrounding match-fixing has betrayed the fans’ trust and disgraced the name of our sport. We need measures that will protect clubs and players from illegal activities.”
Under strict South Korean gambling laws citizens are now only allowed to gamble at one casino throughout the whole world, located in Kangwon Land in Gangwon Province of South Korea. In regards to sports betting – only betting on cycling, horse racing and motorboat racing is allowed. The strict laws are the primary reason behind growing illegal gambling operations in the country.
The situation with online sportsbooks in South Korea is straightforward – there are no laws to regulate online gambling and govern flow of money through the online establishments. Thus no online casino or sportsbook can operate in the country.
Many South Koreans do place bets online, usually at foreign-based betting sites, or throughout the network of mafia-supported bookmakers. Clearly this activity is illegal and is punishable with a prison term of up to 3 years. KFA chairman Cho mentioned a number of illegal betting sites set up in Macau and Hong Kong to focus on football betting in China, Japan and South Korea.
He went on to say: “We plan to have working-level talks within this month. We believe prevention is the best defense. We plan to adopt FIFA’s Early Warning System that will help us monitor betting patterns on games and prevent match fixing attempts.”
The Early Warning system has been created by FIFA four years ago and monitors betting on all FIFA sanctioned sporting events to prevent illegal sports betting. FIFA has pledged to help South Korea in resolving this problem and even “Dispatch a team of inspectors to investigate suspicious situations.”