Are Online Casino Games Illegal in South Korea?

Gambling is very popular in South Korea; however, several legal hurdles make it challenging. While casinos exist in the country, they are only meant for tourists, and citizens found gambling are punished severely by the law.

Although South Korea is one of the most advanced countries in East Asia, casinos and sports betting remain a risky venture within the country for locals and foreigners who want to gamble online. Gambling is still strictly taboo amongst South Koreans, and most land-based casinos cater to tourists and long-term expatriate residents.

Online gambling is deemed illegal in South Korea. However, some citizens sign up with offshore accounts to enjoy their favorite online casino games. In addition, some citizens have also adopted advanced ways to access online casinos, such as using VPNs to hide their identities and using cryptocurrency to pay for online gambling sessions.

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Here’s what you should know about online casino games in South Korea:

Which Rules Regulate Online Casino Games in South Korea?

With the spread of online gambling, one would think South Koreans would have more betting options; however, this isn’t the case. Instead, South Korean players have very few gambling options, even with the numerous online gambling sites.

South Koreans are subject to strict gambling regulations. They are limited to visiting Kangwon Land Casino on the outskirts of Seoul for legalized gambling. In addition, online gambling with overseas sportsbooks is strictly prohibited, with authorities monitoring the activity and blocking gambling sites. 

The kicker is that the laws on gambling are applied to South Korean residents whenever they are. They are prohibited not only from gambling in South Korea but also in other countries. In other words, South Korea’s online gambling is restricted everywhere.

The authorities don’t just issue empty threats either; some South Koreans have been heavily fined and imprisoned after being caught gambling in places such as Las Vegas and Macau.

Online gambling in South Korea is strictly prohibited under South Korean law. The main reason is that South Korea doesn’t distinguish between land-based and online gambling. For example, Article 247 of the Criminal Code states that anyone conducting illegal gambling in South Korea is subject to criminal prosecution and faces charges of up to 5 years in prison or KRW 30 million (approx. $26,000). This clause is pertinent to online gambling operations as well. Only online sales of lottery tickets are specifically permitted.

Although it’s not possible to widely enforce an online gambling ban on the level of individuals, South Korean authorities made it clear that online gamblers in the country can face penalties if caught.

However, most South Korean players take their chances with gambling sites despite the strict South Korean gambling laws and the threat of severe penalties. As much as the nation is technologically advanced, it still can’t get full control of internet activities.

Which Are the Best South Korea Online Casinos?

While the South Korean government does not allow online casinos to operate within its borders, no specific, explicit laws forbid players from accessing international online casinos that accept players from the country.

This loophole complicates gambling activities in the country; however, if you want to play casino games, you can do so online.

If you decide to play casino games online in South Korea, you get to enjoy the following:

  • Playing at international online sites that are established, licensed, and regulated outside South Korean borders.
  • No foreign or domestic companies can apply for a license or operate within South Korean borders. However, combined with the land-based ban on players puts you at an advantage, as you can freely access international casinos without a worry in your mind.

If the government tries to block international online casinos, you can still use a VPN and access the sites unnoticed.

Here are some online casino sites that you should try in South Korea:

Casino Classic

If you opt for Casino Classic, you will experience the casino games you know and love. You will also access fresh new games and an amazing online casino experience.

You don’t need a deposit to start playing, and you get one free spin.

GunsBet Casino

There are a variety of various slots and other games at GunsBet Casino. In addition, there’s an extensive list of progressive jackpot slots where you can win several million at one spin.

If you’re a new customer at GunsBet Casino, you get a €300 + 100 free spins welcome bonus to ensure you kick-start your online casino world and enjoy slot machines.

All registered players are eligible to participate in the loyalty program.

Loki Casino

Loki Casino offers a variety of casino games and operates perfectly on mobile devices and a computer.

The casino accepts several currencies, including the South Korean Won “KRW,” Euro “EUR,” and the US Dollar “USD.” It also accepts cryptocurrencies such as ETH”, “DOGE,” “BCH,” “LTC,” “USDT,” and “XRP.”


CrazyFox offers daily cashback of up to 20% and fast cashouts. You will also play various games if you opt for this site.

Key Guidelines for Online Gambling in South Korea

It’s highly unlikely that South Korea will remove the ban on locals regarding land-based gambling; therefore, you can only participate in gambling activities by joining online casinos.

However, you shouldn’t expect to find an online casino licensed and regulated by any South Korean authority because no online casino can operate within the borders. But, again, this is because there’s no licensing process.

Fortunately, you can access reputable, world-class online casinos which accept players from all across the world. Furthermore, most casinos are legit sites with a great reputation and history.

Since no casinos operate inside South Korea, you can only expect a little help from the government regarding player protection. Here’s what you should look out for:

Read Reviews

Read reviews to see what other players are saying about the casino.

Look for the Casino’s License

It’s best to check for the casino’s license, security measures, and randomness certificates. Additionally, find an online casino overseen by respected regulators who closely monitor the operators and oversee all of their activities.

Check for the Casino Holds a Seal of Approval

Check if the casino holds a seal of approval from respected third-party auditors such as TST, eCOGRA, or iTechLabs. These independent companies test the casino games and check whether they’re running on a Random Number Generator. If yes, the auditors give them their approval. The approval means that all the casino games give 100% random and fair results.

Check the Casino’s Security Measures

Your personal and banking details shouldn’t be leaked; therefore, you must look for the lock sign at the beginning of the casino’s URL to verify whether it’s encrypted.

Also, check if the casino offers malware, anti-virus protection, and other security measures. The more it has, the safer it will be.

Payment Methods and Games Lists

Check whether the casino has a variety of payment methods to choose from, considering the gambling laws in South Korea are non-existent.

There should also be a variety of games at your chosen online casino. You should find games by premier software developers like NetEnt, Microgaming, Pragmatic Play, and Play’n GO, among others. In addition, you should be able to find all kinds of slots, progressives, table games, Live Casinos, and online bingo games so that you are always entertained.

The above tips should help you get started if you’re considering playing online casino games in South Korea.

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