Gambling Laws in South Korea
For several years, gambling was illegal under the Criminal Code, which prohibited gambling, as well as providing these activities to Korean citizens. Now, the main regulatory acts for land-based activities are the Tourism Promotion Act, the Bicycle and Motorboat Racing Act, the Korean Racing Association Act, the National Sports Promotion Act and the Lottery Fund Act. And within the South Korean gambling legislation, the Game Industry Promotion Act (GIPA) regulates further the online gambling in the country, making it illegal for Korean citizens, with the exception of the lottery.
The regulation of the gambling sector in South Korea belongs to the National Gambling Control Commission, which is composed of different governmental bodies and was established under the National Gambling Control Act. And according to the South Korean gambling laws, minors under 18 years of age are prohibited to participate in gambling activities in the country.
Is Online Gambling Legal in South Korea?
Most forms of gambling are illegal in South Korea for South Korean citizens, with the exception of the lottery, according to the Game Industry Promotion Act (GIPA).
Online Casinos in South Korea
There are various licensed land-based casino operators in South Korea, as of September 2019. However, due to the illegal status of online gambling in the country, none of the companies has so far launched an online casino in South Korea. As a result, gamblers usually access offshore platforms without fearing prosecution.
Online Poker in South Korea
South Korea is a regular host of the Asian Poker Tour and some South Korean players have excelled in the competition. However, and although it is part of the offer of most casinos, the underground live poker scene is a lot more active. Foreign online poker sites in South Korea, based abroad, are also very popular as players get to access the largest poker rooms in the world.
Online Lottery in South Korea
The lottery is present in South Korea since the first half of the 20th Century, always with the aim of financing culture and social causes. From 2007, the Nanum Lotto Inc. became the sole provider for all sorts of lotto games in the country, but the Dong Hang Lottery has since been granted permission to operate the National Lottery. Additionally, players can also use online lotto sites in South Korea.
Online Bingo in South Korea
Even though there are no specific South Korean bingo laws, the general regulations apply and online bingo in South Korea is considered to be illegal as well. Therefore, it is not possible to find specialized online bingo sites in South Korea, which is why players often access offshore platforms.
Online Sports Betting in South Korea
Sports betting is very popular and there are several land-based betting shops across the country. Yet, and similarly to other forms of gambling, online sportsbook sites in South Korea are forbidden. Hence, bettors usually access foreign platforms that offer them a vast selection of sports to bet on, but also high odds and several opportunities.
Online DFS in South Korea
Online DFS sites in South Korea are not legally regulated. There is an ongoing debate on the status of this type of game, but considering the current situation of some online gambling in the country, it is unlikely that Daily Fantasy Sports would soon become legal in South Korea.