South Koreans are generally sports lovers, whilst having a strong gambling culture that largely supports sports betting but under strict government regulation. The country’s Gambling Act specifically states that sports betting is legal only on boat, horse and bike races; but the establishment of a state-run Sports Toto allows some local sports betting concessions. However a lot has changed since the introduction of Korea Sports Toto. Many are now calling for amendments that would make the Gambling Act more relevant to present day conditions.
Local gamblers can stake wagers on outcomes of local sports competitions such as fixtures of K Football League, or the latest matches of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). Esports aficionados can also bet on esports competitions held in Seoul, Korea.
SoKor Establishes Sports Toto, But Is It the Real Deal?
There was a time when local Korean gamblers placed bets surreptitiously; seeking illegal bookmakers and their agents. While many were punished for gambling illegally, the Korean government provided a solution but on their own terms.
In 1997, SoKor’s Ministry of Finance saw to the establishment of Sports Toto. Two betting facilities, the Sports Toto and the Sports Proto, enabled locals to legally gamble on a range of sports competitions albeit with conditions.
About SoKor Sports Toto
Here, in addition to the legal horse, boat and cycling races, locals can place bets on other favorite Korean sporting events, like baseball, basketball, football, golf and volleyball just to name a few. However, betting style is pari-mutuel, where bettors’ antes are pooled as prize money that will be divided among those who predicted the right winning results. However, the government retains as commissions, a percentage of all the pooled money.
About SoKor Sports Proto
The SoKor Sports Proto allows the fixed odds betting style, which is similar to the conventional sportsbook strategy of offering prize money based on odds. This denotes that at the time the bet was placed, the odds of a team emerging as winner impacts the prize money to be awarded. The greater the odds of a team winning the competition, the higher the rewards offered by the bookmaker. After all, the odds also increase the bookmaker’s chances of gaining from the gambling transaction if the bettors lose on their prediction of the winning team.
At Sports Proto, the betting choices are limited to competitions among local basketball and baseball leagues.
Although these government-run betting facilities somehow provided the gambling entertainment pined for by Korean gamblers, the online sports betting sites that emerged in later years, presented greater satisfaction.
International online sports betting sites particularly those regulated by European and UK Gambling Regulators became accessible globally and across different countries.
Calls for Less Rigid Gambling Laws in Light of Advancements in Communications and Gaming Technology
South Korea’s gambling laws strictly prohibit betting not only locally but also internationally. SoKor citizens staying abroad whether as visitors, or as foreign workers, are likewise prohibited from engaging in gambling activities offline or online while in another country. As a matter of fact, some well known personalities have been jailed for such crimes, while agents of casino junkets have been imprisoned for facilitating gambling trips abroad.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, many local Korean gamblers shifted their focus on online casino gambling. The lockdown episodes gave Korean residents a chance to explore the selections of slot games and casino table games like poker, blackjack, baccarat (바카라사이추천) and roulette, particularly the live dealer games.