Legal Online Gambling in South Korea
South Korea is a prosperous country in many ways. Still, the online gambling industry is one area that hasn't been granted the opportunity to progress like other industries in the region. The legal situation of gambling in general in South Korea is somewhat restrictive.
Take offline gambling, for example. In South Korea, gambling in several popular sports is legally permitted, including horse racing, boat racing and cycling.
It's also legal to play the lottery in the country (more details below). You'll even find a relatively large number of land-based casinos dotted around the country. However, as plentiful as these attractive casino resorts and hotels may be, they are almost exclusively for the enjoyment of tourists only.
South Koreans are not permitted by law to gamble at such venues. The only exception to this rule is that locals may play at the Kangwon Land Casino just outside Seoul under the Special Act on the Assistance to Development of Abandoned Mines.
So what about online gambling in the country? Whether we're talking about online casino gaming or sports betting, the situation is the same: South Koreans are not permitted to gamble online. The law even goes so far as to say that online gambling is prohibited for South Koreans whether they are in the country or overseas. It is also illegal for companies to operate an online casino or sportsbook within the country.
Having said all that, South Koreans love to gamble as much as anyone else, which is why it's increasingly common to find online casinos that accept players from South Korea, despite the local laws. This is because it is tough for law enforcement officials to catch and prosecute people engaging with online casinos in the country, mainly if they use a VPN.
Recently, there have been calls for the government to relax the rules and allow online gambling for those who wish to enjoy it, but it remains to be seen whether this will become a reality.
Lottery Fund Act of 2004
The Lottery Tickets and Lottery Fund Act, enacted on January 29, 2004, was introduced to generate funds for social endeavours. In June of the same year, shortly after the law was passed, the Korea Lottery Commission (KLC) was created to oversee and regulate the country's lottery industry.
Operating under the tagline of Lucky Lottery, Happy Society, the Commission seeks to ensure lottery operations adhere to strict rules and distribute funds fairly and beneficially for all.
How to Choose the Best South Korean Online Casino
You are trying to decide which online casino to play at? There are many hundreds of online casinos available to choose from these days, which makes the process of picking one almost impossible. Unfortunately, though most online casinos are above-board and trustworthy, there are a few shady operations out there that you need to watch out for.
Beyond the safety issues, ideally, you want to join an online casino that offers the wide range of games you're hoping to explore, a selection of rewarding bonuses so you can play for even longer, plenty of standard payment methods and a trustworthy and reliable process for getting your hands on your winnings.
So how do you go about finding an online casino that accepts South Korean players AND ticks all of the above boxes? Trying to do the legwork on all that research yourself would take way too long, so save yourself that unnecessary effort by benefiting from our hard work! This site has been designed to provide you with all the information you need to determine which areas are worth your time and which are not.
We spend countless hours digging through hundreds of online casinos, so you don't have to.
Here's a look at some aspects of online casinos we research in our hunt for the most suitable sites for players to join. It's helpful to know what you should be looking for in a trustworthy online casino, so we'd encourage you to carry out these checks for yourself too.
Look at the Gambling Licence
Quite often, the most valuable indicator of a trustworthy place to play in the online casino's licence status. Ideally, you want to find a place that holds a legitimate and valid online gambling licence of any sort. Still, it's important to realise that not all licence-issuing authorities are created equal.
While an online casino that holds a licence will be a better choice than one that has none, some authorities have a far more respected license than others. The best licences come from the Malta Gaming Authority and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.
These organisations have been set up to regulate the online gambling industry and ensure that people who play at these sites are safe and secure from shady practices. These regulators also provide third party moderation services for conflict resolution, which means they will step in if any issues arise between a player and the online casino, as long as the site holds their licence.
Other respected licence-issuing authorities also exist, and while they may not garner the same level of respect as the two mentioned above, they are more than satisfactory all the same. Such authorities include the Gibraltar Gaming Authority and the government-approved issuers of licences in Curaçao.
You'll usually find an online casino's licence status in the footer of their website. Quite often, the logo of the issuing authority is also placed there and can be clicked to validate the site's licence status.
Find South Korean Native Customer Support
You may find it unusual to think that there would be any online casinos offering native Korean customer support, but it is indeed the case all the same! Just as many online casinos out there are happy to accept players from South Korea, many of them have gone as far as offering customer support in Korea. This is an ideal situation as it means if you do run into trouble at the site, you can get things sorted quickly and easily in your language.
Customer support can come in numerous forms. The first place to look for answers to your problems should be the site's FAQs section if there is one. This handy page has been specially designed to provide all the solutions to issues that players may run into during their first experience at the online casino and is worth checking out in the first instance.
Even if the site is only offered in English, numerous browser-based tools can instantly translate text into Korean for you.
If you don't find the answers you're looking for in the site's FAQs section, or if there isn't such a thing, you can get the help you need by getting in touch with the support team directly by email, phone or phone live phone chat. Many players prefer to use the site's live chat feature, where available, as it puts them in touch with the customer support team instantly, quite often on a 24/7 basis.
The type of support and the language it's provided will help you decide whether an exclusive online casino is for you or not.
Read South Korean Player Reviews
Another fantastic way of getting a feel for an online casino is to check out reviews by existing players. Just like you might do before buying something online, reading reviews allows you to hear from players directly about their experience at the site, including any difficulties they might have experienced and how the online casino dealt with them.
One of the great things about the internet is that people are so connected than ever before. That means an online casino can't treat players however they like without it resulting in a barrage of very public complaints for all to see! By the same token, if a player has had an outstanding experience at the best online casino, they will want to shout about it, so player reviews work to weeding out the shady sites and homing in on the great ones.
Take your time to do some research and read a few player reviews of sites you're considering. If you find a large number of complaints from players about a particular online casino, it might be wise to give that site a miss!
Casino Bonuses for South Korean Players
So, you're all fired up and ready to start playing online casino games, but did you know you can get extra funds to play with? Various casino bonuses exist to boost your bankroll and give you spare time to explore the games collection of these South Korean online casinos.
The most common of these casino bonuses, which pertains specifically to new players, is the welcome bonus. Check out our list of the top casino bonuses that are currently available for South Korean players:
Best Casino Games in South Korea
What are the best online casino games available to players in South Korea? Since there are so many online casinos at your disposal, with all of them offering a wide range of games from many different providers, the answer to which games are the best depends on what type of games you like.
The casino games you can expect to see at safe casinos that accept South Korean players include the timeless classic table games of Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat and Poker, just like you'd find at land-based casinos. These games come in many different designs and even include unique twists and side bets that are fun and exciting to explore.
It's also quite common to find other exciting card and table games such as Andar Bahar, Teen Patti and 32 Cards at South Korean online casinos.
Even more exciting is that these games can also be played via live streaming and are hosted by real professional dealers! Live dealer games are hugely popular versions of classic table games hosted in a luxuriously designed set that looks like the inside of an expensive land-based casino.
A natural person deals the cards and spins the roulette wheel, with players able to place their bets via an interactive section of their screen. You can also find many live games that offer you the same exciting chance of winning big money but are designed to be more like a game show you might see on TV, and you're the star contestant!
Perhaps the biggest draw of any online casino is its free slots collection. Slots are reel-based games where matching symbols result in payouts, sometimes in huge volumes! Like the slot games at land-based casinos, online slots come in many shapes, sizes and themes.
Paylines can range from just a single one up to many thousands in one game, and the payouts themselves are just as varied, with many slots carrying jackpots that can reach life-changing sums!
The answer to which games are the best is the ones that you enjoy playing the most, of course! The best way to find out what those are is to play them!
Most Popular Online Slots in South Korea
Since slots can be found in their hundreds at online casinos, it can be daunting to figure out what to play first. Your best bet is to follow the crowd in this case and try your hand at the online slots everyone else is playing.
Many online casinos make this easy for you by creating a Popular category that contains all of the site's most popular slots in one place. Here are some of the most popular online slots South Korean players love to play:
Mobile Casinos Accepting South Korean Players
Playing online casino games on your computer at home is brilliant, but there are even more modern options available to South Korean players too. Thanks to modern technology, it's straightforward for online casinos to offer players the ability to play games on any modern smartphone or tablet.
For players, this means you generally have two options for playing games on the go: via the website directly or by downloading a standalone app.
The most common option for mobile online casino gaming is to access the online casino's website directly from your mobile device. All of the site's content will automatically be adjusted to perform optimally for your specific device, with a few minor tweaks here and there to make your experience on smaller screens even more enjoyable, such as relocating menus and rearranging the game images.
It's not uncommon to still see online casinos offering a standalone app that allows you to play a limited selection of games without the need to visit the website at all. Mobile casino apps are generally downloaded directly via the online casino's website, although Apple apps can be downloaded from the App Store.
Once downloaded and installed on your smartphone or tablet, you log in, and a range of games will be available to play from anywhere.
As mentioned above, in most cases, joining a modern online casino is enough to ensure that you can play on any mobile device directly from the website itself. Since almost all modern online casinos offer this inherent mobile compatibility, that means you have lots of options to choose from!
The Mobile South Korean Culture
As of 2021, a massive 97.13% of the South Korean population own a smartphone, and as much as the rest of the world, people use these modern marvels to do everything from checking the weather to taking and sending photos to completing work tasks.
Playing games is also a popular mobile pastime in South Korea, as in other parts of the world, so it's no surprise that the appetite for online casino games and the chance to win large sums of money for doing so has grown in the country in recent years.
Popular South Korean Casino Payment Methods
Being able to add funds to your new online casino account in South Korea can be a tricky business if you're unaware of the potential issues. For example, since gambling is almost entirely illegal in the country, it's common to run into problems when depositing to an online casino using a South Korean bank account. In general, we would advise against doing this as it will only lead to complications.
However, there are many other ways to successfully deposit to your online casino account so you can play online casino games for real money in South Korea. The best payment methods for depositing usually don't require you to reveal any sensitive information, such as the many popular ewallets that exist today.
In addition, many South Koreans prefer the inherent security and anonymity of cryptocurrencies for making deposits in online casinos. Here are some of the most popular South Korean payment methods for depositing at online casinos:
Remember to Gamble Responsibly
While playing online casino games for real money can be a lot of fun, it's essential to be aware that gambling can become problematic if you're not careful. The draw of potentially winning life-changing sums of money can become too much for some people, resulting in huge losses of money and a withdrawal from normal activities and responsibilities. Gambling should only ever be a source of entertainment, not a way to pay the bills.
Several warning signs may signify that gambling is becoming an issue for you. These may include:
- Prioritising gambling over socialising, work or other responsibilities;
- Chasing your losses;
- Gambling with more than you can afford to lose;
- Spending significant amounts of time gambling;
- Getting frustrated when you lose;
- Being unable to control your gambling activities;
- Hiding your gambling activities from others.
If you find yourself doing any of these things or you think you may have a problem, there are numerous ways you can get help and support.
Almost all online casinos have limits that you can set in terms of how much money you can deposit and play within a specific time frame. You can even exclude yourself from these sites for a set period or permanently if you wish.
Several organisations can help you regain balance in your life if you feel like gambling is starting to take over.
Gambling Helplines in South Korea
The Korea Center on Gambling Problems (KCGP) is an organisation that's dedicated to preventing and treating issues associated with problem gambling. The website contains many resources that you may find helpful, from analysing your situation to determining if you have a problem getting the help you need to overcome gambling addiction.
The KCGP offers a helpline that anyone in South Korea can call, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for themselves or on behalf of someone else. Call 1336, no area code needed.
South Korea Casinos FAQs
Are you looking for additional info on South Korean online casinos? Check out the answers to our reader-requested FAQs.