Gambling is slowly rising in popularity in South Korea. The country’s gambling laws are unfortunately incredibly strict to Koreans. Many land casinos are allowed to operate, but they only accept foreigners rather than Korean citizens. In fact, there is only one legal land casino in South Korea, which is a huge blow to local residents. On the flip side, many Koreans have the ability to gamble at foreign online casinos and enjoy limitless wagers on hundreds of top-quality games.
The average casino that accepts South Korean players boasts modern websites, the most up-to-date slots, table games and live casino, excellent customer support, and many generous bonuses and promotions. These gambling operators are often available in South Korean and offer the won as a currency of choice. Of course, as there are so many online casinos out there, our expert team is here to provide you with detailed, unbiased reviews of South Korean online casinos. Have a look at our casino listings to get more details. Make your choice, and you can start playing right away. If you wish, continue reading to get more details on what to expect from the average South Korean casino, the legal status of gambling in the country, among answers to some commonly asked questions.
The rise of popularity in smartphone use took the world by a storm. Fortunately, online casinos were quick to follow suit and adapt to the incoming wave of change. As such, established casinos swiftly created mobile-friendly websites of their casino, and new South Korean casinos come with mobile optimisation “out of the box”. This means that any Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Blackberry user can rest assured in knowing he can enjoy smooth online casino game sessions on the go. Many casinos also offer standalone iOS/Android apps, which present even greater convenience than the mobile-browser online casinos.
As South Korea is one of the world leaders in terms of technology development, the country boasts 70% smartphone penetration. Meaning, over 35,000,000 South Koreans own a mobile device. What’s more, the country ranks quite high in terms of 4G coverage, and 5G is being slowly introduced as well. This means that players will have access to stable data connections and limitless online casino gameplay.
Have a look at our South Korean casino reviews to get in on the best mobile casinos that accept players from the country. We look at mobile optimization, performance, speed, availability of games, and so forth. Rest assured though, a modern online casino without proper mobile support is unheard of in today’s market.
Gambling in South Korea has a complicated history, going as far back as when Korea split from its the Soviet-ruled North counterpart.
Following the end of World War II, gambling started making its way into South Korean culture. However, government regulations started taking place very soon. Legislation was passed that prohibited Koreans from placing bets in and even outside their country. Horse race betting, boat racing, cycling and lottery were the only legal forms of gambling throughout the '1900s.
However, casinos were completely prohibited up until 1967. At that point, certain hotels were allowed to offer casino games in the likes of slot machines and table games. But even then, Koreans weren’t allowed to visit or gamble at these sites.
Right before the turn of our millennium, the Sports Toto organisation was formed, completely owned and regulated by the government. This paved the way for citizens to make legal bets on fan-favourite sports in the likes of football, basketball and baseball. But, as these gambling forms are offline only, and have relatively low betting limits (up to KRW 100,000 - $100), they aren’t exactly making waves among gaming enthusiasts.
This is why many players take their cash to foreign gambling sites. The country tries its best to block these websites, but they have been far from successful.
We don’t anticipate a huge legislation change in terms of how gambling is viewed by the government of South Korea, at least not in the near future. For the time being, Koreans will have to resort to the limited Sports Toto betting options or off-shore online casinos.
As in most countries in the world, gambling laws in South Korea are all over the place. They are needlessly complicated, and in many cases – make no sense. But, laws are laws, and they must be respected.
Casino gambling is mostly illegal in the country. The country doesn’t make a distinction between casino types, meaning online casinos are prohibited by law as well. There is only one legal land casino for South Koreans, the Kangwon Land Casino & Hotel. This resort is situated about 130 km away from Pyeongchang.
However, in an effort to promote tourism, the country has legalised many land casinos for tourists alone. Sounds a bit crazy, but it’s actually true. There are over 23 physical casinos across South Korean soil, and only foreigners are allowed in them. Citizens of the country are ID-TRUE and denied entry at the gate. This means that the Kangwon is the only place where South Koreans can legally gamble on casino games. Online casinos are, of course, illegal. There have been numerous attempts for South Korean organisations to offer online gambling services to players, and even some out of North Korea as well, but they are all quickly shut down by the government.
According to the country’s law, any individual caught in illegal gambling activity can be fined up to $4,400 (up to 5 million RKW), and face up to 3 years in prison. In practice, however, this rule is rarely enforced. Individuals caught gambling might get a slap on the wrist in the form of a minor fine and potentially customer service. The government is much interested in going after those who offer gambling services.
As such, South Korea actively aims to IP block gambling sites or throttle connection speeds with these websites to prevent online gambling. However, many players are still able to make deposits at foreign online casinos, either regularly or through VPN software.
Sports betting, unlike casino gambling, is mostly legal in South Korea. The Sports Toto and Sports Proto organization allow legal bets to be placed on games such as:
These are all offline betting options, and online sports bettors have to take their cash to off-shore licensed websites.
Koreans enjoy a variety of games. The country doesn’t have a history that dates back to ancient times; therefore, we can’t single out any historically known games particular to the state. Different players have different preferences, but overall there is no particular standout game. In the modern age, the typical Korean punter likes to bet on sports such as soccer, basketball and various racetracks and motorsports. In terms of casino games, all of the usual casino staples have a fair share of playtime
The pattern here is obvious. All of the above games are typically available at online casinos, and the Korean gamer is drawn to them just like any other player. Each game type offers unique benefits, features, and playstyles. Slots are luck-based fun machines, table games have a certain factor of skill in them, and so forth.
Since Koreans have to resort to foreign gambling sites for their online gaming needs, the choices at hand are virtually endless. You can have your pick between hundreds of operators. To the new player, this may be incredibly daunting.
Rest assured though; this is where we come in. Our casino reviews will give you a clear picture on what to expect when you enter a certain online casino. Not only that, but we’ll guide you through important factors such as key bonus terms and conditions, quality of games, level of security, and much more.
Read below to get a more detailed overview of our review process. We will also let you know how the average casino that accepts Koreans fares in all of these aspects.
We’ll say it right off the bat. You should not be concerned about security when playing at an online casino that accepts South Koreans. This is because these sites already serve a wide, sometimes global player base. They are typically licensed by the most strict and trustworthy licensing bodies in the online gambling industry, such as the Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gambling Commission, eGaming Authority of Curacao, Panama and Gibraltar Gaming Authority.
This means that these operators must respect dozens of fair play and security regulations in order to protect players. Sometimes, they act as mediators on behalf of players in order to solve disputes where player mistreatment has been suspected.
This may come as a surprise, but many online casinos are actually available in Korean. Operators are well-aware that Koreans can’t really gamble in their country, and go above & beyond to accommodate this vast player base. One example is bitcoin casinos but plenty of others await. However, if a casino isn’t available in Korean, that doesn’t mean you can’t play. You will usually be able to browse the casino in English with virtually no difference bar the interface language.
Customer support is another integral factor for the online casino equation. As a player, it is crucial to know that you have a solid customer support team to fall back on. Things happen all the time, you may have a minor issue or question at hand, and without immediate help, you may become stuck in your play sessions.
Fortunately, most Korean casinos offer industry-standard live chat customer support. To top it off, live chat is typically available 24/7, offering immediate assistance no matter the time of day. We also look at the availability of telephone support, but that is far from a deciding factor given the efficiency of live chat. Email support is the bare minimum we expect from any online casino.
An offshore online casino that accepts South Korean players is known to have extensive gaming libraries, filled with the market’s latest and greatest titles. This is because these companies bear partnerships with industry bar-setters in terms of game design. By this, we mean brands in the likes of Net Entertainment, Microgaming, IGT, Play N Go, Yggdrasil, Pragmatic Play, and many others.
Upon hearing these names, any experienced player will know they will be dealing with quality. To those new to online gambling, however, this means hundreds upon hundreds of well-paying slots, table games and all sorts of other titles.
Classic slots, video slots and progressives. These games will be the first to catch your eye upon entering an online casino. And rightfully so, as slots make up the lion’s share of each casino’s gaming selection. These games are the highest in variety, as they are the preferred game of choice to the majority of casino gamers. At your typical casino that accepts South Korean players, you can have your pick between hundreds of slots of all kinds. They come in many themes (pop culture, mythology, sci-fi), with a myriad of special features (Megaways, 243-ways to win, cascading reels, stacked wilds, free spins) and the most up-to-date graphics, animations, and sound effects.
To illustrate our point, have a look at Microgaming classics in the likes of Terminator, The Dark Knight Rises and Immortal Romance. For the best eye-candy on the market, NetEnt titles are a sure bet. Games such as Starburst, Aliens, Dead or Alive and Blood Suckers are hallmark products of this Swedish provider. Progressives slots are also on the menu. Many online progressives are known to dish out 6, 7 and 8-digit jackpots on the regular. The record payout is £13m+ on Microgaming’s Mega Moolah, which came from a lucky 25p spin for a player from the UK. NetEnt’s Mega Fortune is similar in that regard, but plenty of other jackpots await.
Slots may be the most popular casino game on the market, but a casino can’t be complete without a good set of table games. Indeed, those who prefer games of skill can have plenty to look forward to in the online world. The usual staples in the likes of Blackjack, Roulette and Poker are always on offer. What’s more, there come numerous variants such as Atlantic City Blackjack, Vegas Single Deck Blackjack, European, American and La Partage Roulette, Sic Bo, Punto Banco, Oasis Poker – we could go on and on.
A well-rounded online casino gaming selection should always include a few video poker titles. This is usually the case with South Korean online casinos. Through titles such as Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Aces & Eights, Joker Pro, and others, players can enjoy a wide variety of video poker. These games offer great payout potential, decent graphics, and highly engaging gameplay.
True table game lovers should do themselves justice and experience live casino gaming. Your typical South Korean online casino will be supplied by live casino giants such as NetEnt or Evolution Gaming. This means the best, most immersive live dealer tables in existence will be at your disposal. The most popular Evolution tables are Blackjack Party, Deal or no Deal and Immersive Roulette. But, do yourself a favor and check it out for yourself. Live dealer tables are hosted by engaging and chatty presenters you can interact with in real-time, Moreover, tables are open 24/7, and there is a slew of regular and VIP variants on offer.
One of the greatest benefits for South Korean online players is bonuses. You can have your pick between a great range of promotional offers no matter where you turn. Not all bonuses are worth claiming though. Make sure to read through the terms and conditions. Have a look at important factors such as wagering requirements, and if any restrictions are in place (Maximum Bet, Restricted Games).
The welcome bonus is a player-favorite, offered by online casinos to newcomers on their first or first few deposits. Your typical welcome bonus looks like this: 100% match up to €100 – doubling your initial playing budget. But many sign-up offers go beyond that, and it’s not uncommon to see a €500 bonus.
On occasion, your sign-up deposit match will be paired with a good amount of free spins i.e. 100% up to €100 + 30 Free Spins. Free Spins bonuses work as usual. The difference is, all winnings from your spins will be later converted into bonus cash that needs to be wagered. Some free spins offers are wager-free, but those are not as common.
No Deposit Bonuses are fairly self-explanatory, and they aren’t really common. When you come across a no deposit bonus, you’ll notice the very high wagering requirements, and typically a cashout limit to the tune of €100. However, there’s nothing to lose by claiming a bonus of this type. It offers a great way to explore a new casino with no strings attached.
Reload and Cashback bonuses have taken a backseat in recent times, but they are still reasonably available to players. These bonuses work by returning a portion of your lost winnings at the end of the day, week or month.
None at all. As South Korean gambling laws look at online casino gambling as an illegal activity, there are no related tax laws in place. The country does charge a lotto and lottery tax that varies between 22% and 30%.
As many foreign online casinos seek to accommodate the large Korean player base, many operators allow customers to play with South Korean won. If the won is unavailable, you are free to use a different currency such as USD or EUR. Your own deposits and withdrawals will be converted, for which you will be charged a minor conversion fee.
Playing at foreign online casinos may not be legal in the eyes of South Korean law, but there is not much the government can do about it. These casinos are based outside of the country, and the law rarely prosecutes individuals for placing online wagers.
Yes. Online casinos that accept South Korean players offer most games in “real money” and “demo mode”. The latter is free to play indefinitely. Demo Mode is a great way of exploring new titles to see if they match your taste.
Absolutely. The online casino competition is fierce, and operators must fight tooth and nail for new players. This is why they offer extremely generous bonuses on the regular. As a Korean gamer, you will be spoiled for choice.
Depending on your withdrawal method, you may be charged a small withdrawal fee when requesting a cashout. In general, however, these fees are very minimal, so you shouldn’t worry that a large portion of your withdrawal will be deducted.
Before requesting a withdrawal, the majority of online casinos will require that you verify your identity. This is a standard security procedure that requires you to send out a photo or scan of your personal ID and a proof of address.
If you are withdrawing your cash via an e-wallet, your money will generally arrive within 72 hours. Payouts to debit cards and bank transfers usually involve additional security checks and can take up to a full working week.
South Korean online casinos offer a wide range of payment options such as debit cards, cryptocurrency, e-wallets, and prepaid cards. We’ll give you an overview of the most popular payment options: