Celebrities in South Korea to Be Prosecuted for Habitual Gambling

It seems that some celebrities from South Korea could face charges for taking part in “habitual” gambling, thus violating the local law of the country.

At the moment, two people who are the main target of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s Sophisticated Crime Investigation Division are Seungri and Yang Hyun Suk. Seungri is a popular former K-pop star who managed to achieve significant success in the Korean music industry. On the other hand, Yang Hyun Suk is the CEO of a company called YG Entertainment.

These two, among some other residents of South Korea, are probably going to be prosecuted for their actions, as this country has some really strict laws regarding gambling. All South Koreans can only gamble in local lotteries, a couple of races and in a casino called Kangwon Land, which is located approximately 150 miles from Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

Now, the country has more casinos than that one, but they are only open for foreign visitors, meaning Koreans are not allowed in them.

Apart from banning gambling in the country, the law clearly states that Korean citizens are not allowed to gamble outside of it, such was the case with the celebrities who were charged.

Instead of gambling for “momentary pleasure,” which is not punishable by law in South Korea, these individuals participated in “habitual” gambling and will have to pay fines of up to KRV20 million, which is approximately $17,000.

Investigation Process

According to investigators, Seungri, who was once a part of a boy band called BigBang, has managed to spend approximately KRW 1 billion, which is around $855,000, on gambling in foreign casinos. He supposedly did that starting in 2014 when he visited Las Vegas.

In fact, according to the investigators, Seungri’s gambling problem has been going on for much longer than that, but the law only allows them to limit the investigation to the last five years.

Yang, the CEO of YG Entertainment, which is a company that offers management services to K-pop performers, has also reportedly spent a couple of million in Las Vegas. Apart from him, his other three friends, none of whom are public figures, are also going to face charges for habitual gambling.

These are not the only people who are charged with this type of crime. In December 2018, a female K-pop star named Shoo also managed to lose KRW790 million at several Macau casinos in two years. Shoo was sentenced to six months in prison. She recently got out and is currently actively working on new songs, having released a single recently.

South Korean officials are aware of this case, and they are working closely with Macau officials in order to limit or constrain the access of Korean tourists to Macau. Although Las Vegas is not on the map, it’s possible that the government of South Korea might attempt to achieve similar deals with the people running the Entertainment Capital of the World.

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