Jeju casinos still looking to add remote gambling

The proposal was first mentioned last October to help the industry recover.
The proposal was first mentioned last October to help the industry recover.

Authorities in Jeju island continue analysing the possibility of allowing casinos to offer online gambling services.

South Korea.- Jeju island is still considering whether it is possible to allow its land-based casinos to provide remote gambling to foreign players as a way to help the industry recover.

However, authorities ruled out the possibility of allowing South Korean nationals to gamble as they received many opinions against the idea. 

The opposition included residents of Gangwon Province, where Gangwon Land Corp operates the only South Korean casino that currently allows betting to domestic customers.

According to local media reports, research on the potential of opening up Jeju island to domestic players-requiring national government approval-and research on online gambling was completed in September last year.

Then a report was submitted to the Jeju provincial authorities, which at the time expressed opposition to the proposal.

The Jeju Provincial Government also announced on January 5 that it will formulate and implement the second phase of the Jeju Casino Business Comprehensive Plan, covering the period from 2022 to 2026 where the possibility of online gambling will be discussed.

One of the goals of the plan is to “overcome the crisis in Jeju’s casino industry and create an environment for a new leap.”

Last October, a proposal was made by Lee Sang-heon, a member of the National Assembly’s Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee, who said  South Korea’s foreigner-only casinos should be allowed to introduce online gambling services.

Then, in November 2021Bong Mi Hee, a professor at the Integrated Resort Tourism Research Centre at Inha Technical College, said remote gambling, paid for either by cryptocurrency or credit card, ought to be considered as a plan of action for Jeju casino venues. 

According to GGRAsia, Bong said BitCoin could be a suitable digital payment token for blockchain-based exchanges connected to remote gambling, due to consumer awareness of the digital currency brand. 

However, she also noted that despite the multiple benefits as transparency, the payment method also has some difficulties for the risk of money laundering crimes.

South Korea: 99.6% of tourists in Jeju in 2021 were locals

According to data from the Jeju Island Tourism Association, the number of tourists visiting Jeju in 2021 exceeded 12 million. However, 99.6 per cent of tourists came from the country.

Authorities pointed out that the total number is still down by about 20 per cent when compared to pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, 15.3 million tourists visited Jeju Island.

The current figure, however, shows an improvement from the decline in 2020 to only 10.2 million.

The association also remarked that due to the suspension of international flights throughout the pandemic, the proportion of foreign tourists hit a record low.

Foreign tourists accounted for only 0.4 per cent (48,278 people) of the total number of tourists, while the other 99.6 per cent were domestic tourists, reaching 11.97 million.

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