South Korea cracks down on illegal and crypto gambling

The country has arrested as many as 2,925 which it suspects of having facilitated illegal gambling or engaged in illicit online gambling activity

A new report by the National Office of Investigation (NOI) has said that thousands of arrests were carried out over the past six months, and the arrestees actually involved thousands of teenagers.

At least 1,035 of those arrested were teenagers, with 566 of them now referred to counselling services, looking for help. Interestingly, 12 teenagers actually have been charged with running the online gambling platforms themselves, and six were found to be advertising.

A total of $44.9 million of illegal gambling proceeds have been seized by officials, including FIAT and cryptocurrencies. The investigation also sought to better understand how it was possible for so many young people to actually have been involved with gambling, and established that there was significant peer influence involved, with teenagers promoting and spreading messages about online gambling through smartphone messages.

Teenagers seemed to be engaged with quite a few forms of gambling as well, including baccarat, which surprisingly proved to be the most popular option among young people, with some 41.9% of all teens gambling on baccarat over any other segment. Another 19.8% of teenagers were spending time and money on sports betting, and surprisingly, online casinos only accounted for 17.1%.

Although the findings fleshed out the case with teenagers, thousands of other gamblers were also arrested. In the meantime, NOI has said that it has launched another six-month operation which will culminate later this year and offer further detail into the gambling habits of players who engage with illegal gambling.

South Korea has been putting the onus on its own consumers as well, with the country’s authorities going after players and gambling operators both.

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Written by Barney


Barney is co-founder of When not at work he can usually be found behind a Nikon. He's won numerous international competitions for his photography and volunteers as a content creator for aid organisations in Africa.

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