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GTI Global Network > News > International
South Korea announced the legalization of opening cruise casinos(2015/08/03)

The South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said yesterday that an ordinance that legalizes the operation of casinos on cruise ships had been approved during the latest meeting of the cabinet.

The ordinance in question will be effective as of August 4, but according to country officials actual operations are likely to begin a bit later.  A number of cruise operators have already expressed interest in providing gambling services on board of their ships. Under the ordinance, a given cruise company should comply with certain terms in order to be allowed to open casinos. For instance, it should be given an appropriate grade by reputable credit-rating institutions.

In addition, there is also a limit for the size of the casino depending on the size of the ship itself. A 100,000+ ton vessel should feature a casino no larger than 2,600 square meters. A ship that is smaller than 100,000 tons should feature a casino that spreads over 1,300 square meters or less.

Under the ordinance, each casino should be equipped with booths for currency exchange as well as Tourism Ministry accredited computing system.

South Korea’s government pointed out that once the ordinance comes into effect, it might result in at least five local gambling operators contributing KRW1 trillion to the country and generating 8,000 jobs by 2020. Yet, gaming analysts believe that the impact cruise ship casinos would have on the economy might not be as considerable as initially expected.
The reason for this is the fact that only foreigners are allowed access to South Korean casinos. Residents of the country are not permitted to gamble at local properties. In addition to this, gambling operators are not allowed to run casinos in South Korean seas.

Earlier this year, Yoo Ki-June, the country’s Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, called for residents to be permitted to enter and gamble at local gaming venues as a means for operators to be secured additional profits. However, the Tourism Ministry said that this might be seen as an attempt for gambling to be encouraged and might unleash wave of public disapproval.

At present, Kangwonland Resort Casino in South Korea’s Gangwon Province is the only gambling property that allows access to residents of the country.

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