The South Korean casino industry has continued to grow steadily during the last couple of years and Jeju casinos have played a significant role in this growth as Jeju Island is close to the China border and offers Chinese tourists a free visa. South Korea’s gambling law allows only foreigners to play at casinos there. The only exception in the country is at the remote Kangwon Land casino in the country’s interior, which allows locals to gamble.
The authorities in Jeju Island have decided to impose stricter regulations on casinos that allow entry to foreigners and the provincial government has stated that it will include new legislation that will require these casinos to be more transparent and be stricter with their policies and procedures.
The new legislation is expected to come into effect from the start of next year and will require casinos to make a number of changes including implementing a permit system to monitor and allow only authorized personnel to enter restricted areas such as storage rooms of gaming devices and computer rooms at these foreigner only casino resorts. Casinos will also be required to use only legal gaming products and services at the premises, install more security cameras to reduce the number of blind areas at the casino.
Casinos will also be required to be more transparent with the dealings and will now be required to calculate their daily income, install electronic gaming tables, sell poker chips only at gaming tables and provide serial numbers for each game agreement. Foreigners visiting these casinos will now have to mandatorily provide casino staff with their name, passport number, nationality, passport expiration date and their date of visit.
South Korean nationals who are given special permission to enter these foreigner only casinos will also be required to provide their identification details to casino staff. All foreigner only casinos will be required to store this information and keep their records up to date.
One possible reason why the Jeju provincial government is stepping up its scrutiny is because there has been an increase in the number of casino related crimes in recent times. In 2014, the authorities arrested close to 100 Chinese nationals who were involved in illegal gambling activities at Jeju casinos. Korean police also arrested 5 casino employees in 2014 who were alleged to have embezzled 5 billion won from Jeju casinos and also arrested two individuals on money laundering charges as they were reported to have transferred 63 billion won from China to South Korea. In 2016, the authorities arrested a Chinese man who is suspected of gambling at a casino after killing a Chinese woman on Jeju island.