The Seoul Central District Court has ruled that a gambling loan of over $10,000 doesn’t need to be repaid, since it was lent for gambling activities.
The South Korean court decided that there was no requirement to repay the loan on the grounds of moral standards and social ethics. Judge Shim Chang-seop said: “money purposely given for gambling need not be repaid.”
The loan was worth $10,600, and both parties had agreed upon repayment after a 10-day period at 10% interest.
South Korea currently has 17 casinos, but due to South Korean gambling laws
nationals are only allowed entry into one, Kangwon Land, which despite being located in a largely inaccessible rural area, earns more revenue than the other 16 foreigners-only casinos combined.
The man who borrowed the money was a regular at Kangwon Land; it’s unknown whether the plaintiff plans to appeal.
Provinces Want Casinos
Due to growing interest in South Korea from international casino operators, regional politicians are keen to secure casino plans for their provinces.
The past two months has seen Genting Singapore and Caesars Entertainment announce resort casino projects on Jeju Island and Yeongjong Island; this has prompted provincial governments to roll out the welcome mat in an effort to ensure their areas will be considered.
The Korea Times reported having conversations with officials from five provinces all keen to get in on the casino action.
However, Korean Leisure Industry Institute president Seo Chun-beom doubts that any casino outside Incheon, Jeju or Busan has any hope of attracting the necessary crop of foreign gamblers necessary to make any large scale Korean resort casino a success.
In the mean time, South Koreans can still access online and mobile casino options although there is some confusion around legislation in place and the activity is often frowned upon.