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Best Online Casinos in Korea for 2020

Korea

South Korea (which is more officially known as the Republic of Korea) has a complex set of gambling laws governing exactly what is allowed in the nation. There is a general prohibition on the activity, but one with plenty of exceptions, and even full-scale casinos are licensed in various locations throughout the nation. Interestingly, most – but not all – of these venues are only open to foreigners, making it harder to place a bet if you are Korean than if you’re just visiting.

When it comes to online gambling in Korea, the government doesn’t explicitly allow any form of real money betting. However, there are plenty of outstanding online casinos in Korea with foreign operators more than happy to let Koreans play on their sites. This means there are plenty of safe and reliable, real money online casinos  available for players in Korea for those interested in giving them a try.

Top Korea Casinos Online for 2020

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Online Gambling Sites in Korea

Given the efforts to limit how and where citizens can gamble, it probably won’t surprise you to find out there are no government regulated Korean online casino sites. In fact, the nation has sometimes accused neighbouring North Korea of creating illegal sites designed to bilk money out of South Korean players. Suffice it to say, there are no Internet casinos that are licensed in this country.

However, that doesn’t mean that South Koreans cannot play casino games online. There are a great number of gambling sites that accept Korean players. These sites include a number of very reputable and trustworthy operations that are popular throughout the world.

This means that you’ll find some of the best software providers offering their games in Korea, provided that you know where to look. You may not find some of the bigger public companies – after all, they tend to stay in regulated markets where there can be absolutely no question of legality – but there’s still an excellent variety to choose from. The following are just a few of the biggest developers who supply online casino games in Korea:

  • Microgaming – Some of the most famous slots around, including progressives like Mega Moolah.
  • NetEnt – Progressives are also big factors for NetEnt, with Mega Fortune among the best. This developer is also responsible for many favourites in the slot world.
  • Playtech – Providing a decent selection of slots, it is the live dealer suite provided by Playtech that sets the developer apart from the rest.
  • BetSoft – BetSoft have been plying their trade for a long time and it shows in their wide range of slots with different themes, styles, and gameplay mechanics.
  • Big Time Gaming – Big Time Gaming (BTG) have taking the Megaways engine and run with it, with the likes of Bonanza playing a part in revolutionizing slot play.

The best part about these software providers is that oftentimes, gambling sites will give players bonuses that can be played on their most popular games. South Korean online casino bonuses include free spins, no deposit bonuses, cashback, and match bonuses. 


Payment Methods at Korea Online Casinos 

There are numerous payment methods available to Korean players, but only a few of these offer deposits and withdrawals in Korean WON, which is a big plus for most players in the country. Here’s a few common payment options you’ll come across once you join a Korea casino online: 

PayPal

Not the most popular method due to the fees involved, the trust level, notoriety, and easy of paying with PayPal ensures this method remains widely used in Korea. 

Skrill

An e-Wallet ensuring no personal banking details have to be shared with an online casino, Skrill is a swift and popular method. Be aware, however, that many Korean online casinos do not offer bonuses to Skrill players. 

JCB

The biggest payment method in Japan also enjoys popularity amongst Korean online casino players. Considered a safe, swift, and secure system for both deposits and withdrawals, JCB is one of the most commonly used payment methods at online casinos in South Korea.

Cryptocurrency

With the laws being as they are in Korea, anonymity is a big selling point for some players in the country. As a result, the number of online casinos allowing for bitcoin and other cryptocurrency deposits is growing in the country. 

Debit and Credit Cards

Mastercard and Maestro payments may not be the only choice anymore, but the simplicity, reliability, and comfort of this payment method ensures it remains a popular one.


Online Clampdown and Big Arrests

2019 was quite the year for gambling in Korea. One of the biggest stories of the year was the announcement that the police would be ramping up the number of cyber investigators cracking down on what is considered to be undesirable in terms of online content. The fact that the list of undesirable content saw online gambling on a list next to cyber sexual violence, and saw the former cited specifically for causing “social problems” says a lot about the Korean government’s attitude towards online gambling. 

Of 120,000 cases of action being requested against undesirable content in 2018, nearly a third related to online gambling content, so this change was a response to a call from the Korean government to clampdown. 

That isn’t to say that online casinos are no longer accessible in South Korea, international companies still provide games to Korean players, and while punishments have been put on local companies, cracking down on international companies has proven more difficult. 

Another important news story to come out of Korea in 2019 was the case of pop singer Shoo, a huge K-Pop star who pled guilty to ‘habitual gambling’ and was handed a six month prison sentence, which was lenient, as the sentence could have been double that. 


Different Rules for Foreign Gamblers

To understand online gambling law in Korea, it is important to understand land-based casino law, as the government does not differentiate between the two in terms of regulations and legality.

When you first hear the fact that South Korea is home to 17 casinos, you might get the impression that this is a nation with a gaming industry that would rival some of the largest in the world. But while it’s fair to say that there are a fair number of options for betting here, and that the government isn’t completely anti-gambling, this isn’t quite the paradise for bettors that you might believe at first glance.

The biggest issue is the divide between what local citizens are allowed to do and what foreigners are permitted to take part in. At all but one of the land-based casinos in the country, only foreigners are allowed to enter or place bets. This is an effort to allow the state and local governments to collect tax revenues from the lucrative gaming industry, but without encouraging some of the negative social impact that legalized gambling can bring along with that money.

The one exception is Gangwon Land Casino. Build under a law designed to encourage development in abandoned mining areas, this is the one casino that lets anyone through the door, provided that they are 19 or over. Slots and many typical table games can be found here, but even this venue has its quirks: some local residents are still barred from visiting. Presumably, the government is willing to encourage travel from other parts of the country, but doesn’t want locals playing regularly.

The government even places some fairly serious controls on how much Korean citizens can gamble when they are traveling abroad. To be certain, they’re not stopping individuals from visiting a casino or placing the occasional bet. However, there are laws against becoming a “habitual overseas gambler.” That may sound silly, but it can quickly become anything but: some business executives have been indicted on the charge after gambling millions in casinos around the world, with large fines and even the possibility of up to three years in prison possible if found guilty. More recently, a pitcher signed by the St. Louis Cardinals was fined 10 million won ($8,300) for betting heavily in Macau.

Outside of casinos, gaming laws are a little more relaxed here, and there are a few different ways to place bets. Many types of racing – and betting on said races – are regulated in the country, including horse racing, cycling, and motor boat racing. The government also runs standard lotteries as well as a sports lottery known as ToTo, which benefits the country’s Olympic sports program and also allows Korean to bet online.


Foreigner-Only Model May Face Tests

We find it hard to believe that the government will suddenly have a change of heart and allow all of the casinos in the nation to start allowing Koreans in the door. That said, it’s not exactly clear that the “foreigners only” policy currently in place will prove to be sustainable in the long term, at least if the goal is to have a successful gaming industry.

Recently, revenues have been declining at most of the nation’s casinos, likely a result of the reduced number of high-stakes players coming in from China since corruption crackdowns have taken place in that country. But what is striking is that exactly one venue is bucking this trend: and, of course, it is the Kangwon Land, which allows locals to play. 

The existing resorts are likely to face an even greater challenge in a couple of years, when at least two large “integrated resorts” are expected to open. These resorts, which will be located in the Incheon Free Economic Zone, are also going to be closed to locals, but expect to offer the kind of amenities that high roller foreigners expect from the world’s greatest gaming destinations. Operators have said that these venues will take several years to turn a profit without the support of Korean gamblers, however, again showing just how much harder it is to run a casino when nobody who lives nearby is allowed to play.

With so much attention on the land-based industry, it’s unlikely that online gambling will see any real progress here over the next few years. In fact, the situation will likely remain as it is now for much longer of that, considering the government’s interest in keeping Koreans from participating in most forms of casino gambling. However, it is also likely that many foreign site owners will keep allowing players here to join their Internet gaming operations, as Korea remains a very lucrative market for operators to target.

Korea Online Casino FAQ

Whether gambling is legal in Korea is a complex question with no simple answers. The rules for foreign players and local players are different, and while local online casino operators are prohibited, many globally renowned online casino operators provide their games to players in the country.

An online casino site is as safe as its security measures. As there is no regulation in Korea for online casinos, it is important to be sure that the site you are playing at can be trusted. We only recommend trusted casino sites that will keep you and your money safe, and we have casino reviews to ensure you know what to expect.

Just finding online casinos to play at in Korea can seem like an uphill struggle, let alone working out which ones are the best. However, we are here to help you by providing a list of the best online casinos in Korea, to make the choice easy for you. All our casinos online in Korea come with strict security measures and top-quality games.

Korean Won can be used at most online casinos providing their services in the country. Payment methods including JCB, PayPal, Skrill, and local credit and debit cards allow for payments to be made in Korean Won. However, some players prefer the protection of anonymity provided by cryptocurrency payments, which is another popular way to make deposits and withdrawals at online casinos in South Korea.

There are many land-based casinos in Korea, but with the exception of one, they are not available to citizens of the country. These casinos are intended to solely entertain foreigners, and are very profitable for the Korean government. While it is not impossible that laws will change and these casinos will open to Korean citizens too, there has been no movement to suggest this will happen any time soon.

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