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Plans afoot to curb online gambling in South Korea

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have laid plans on the table to limit online gambling in South Korea. Lawmakers will place stricter monthly limits on the amount of cash transactions that can be made over the Internet.

The Korea Times reported that the proposed laws will restrict online gambling which has become quite a problem in Asia. As it stands at the moment, online gambling expenditure of $290 per month is allowed but due to poor verification procedures, the more criminally minded can open multiple accounts with borrowed or stolen identity card numbers.

Should the new regulations come into place, large cash transactions for online gambling will attract fines of up to $20,000 and could even lead to a prison sentence of two years.

Figures compiled by the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion in 2006, shows that approximately 9.2 per cent of the population are in some way addicted to the internet, this may not be accurate as other surveys are saying around 5 per cent. Initially the authorities clamped down on video gambling arcades and this drove many to be turned into Internet Cafes or ‘PC baangs’ as they are locally known. These ‘PC baangs are very popular because customers play and win on virtual slot machines.
The proposed regulations will be brought before lawmakers in September.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.