The Koreans were missing in the Korean event of the Asian Pacific Poker Tour. This great absence is not voluntary, however, it is the country itself which prohibits its nationals from taking part in this kind of event.
This ban is not limited to Poker only, South Koreans are not allowed to indulge in casino games. However, they can play, among other things, the lottery and horse racing, games administered by the State. There is still an exception with regard to casinos, an establishment is authorized to welcome Korean players but under certain conditions.
South Koreans, Deprived Of Poker
In the Korean event of the Asian Pacific Poker Tour 3 million won (2,800 euros) held in Seoul, no Korean national was able to participate. Indeed, the law prohibits the Korean population from playing poker either during special events or in casinos. The event was won by an American called Jason Mo and a player from Singapore and a Pole came in second and third respectively. Many nationalities took part in this event, Canadian, Russian, Irish, Japanese… and the big absent was Korea. The tournament was held at the Paradise Walkerhill Casino in the Gwangjin gu district north of the Han River.
This ban is not limited to poker only, all casino games are prohibited for Koreans. According to Kim Jin-Gon, director of tourism at the Ministry of Culture, Korean people are not yet ready to consider gambling as entertainment or leisure. They represent a danger for citizens who are still vulnerable to dependence. Despite the development experienced by the country in recent years, casino games have not yet their place in this growth since they can harm the balance of the population.
The law also allows them to play the lottery or horse races, games which are administered by the State.
The Exception That Confirms The Rule
The Kangwon Land Resort is the only casino in South Korea to enjoy a great privilege. It is authorized to accept Korean players in its arcades. However, conditions and rules must be observed. A Korean must in no case exceed 15 days of play in a month and 300,000 won (approximately 280 euros) of stake. Despite the restriction, this authorization is very beneficial for the gaming establishment. That is why, other casinos ask for the same favor. A solicitation to which the state gave a negative response. The government spoke of the peculiarity of the situation of Kangwon Land as well as the importance of foreign players who must have priority in casinos.
In short, Korean players will therefore not be able to participate in the first Korean National WPT from December 14 to 20 which will be held at the Grand Hotel on Jeju Island.