South Korea online sports betting laws
In a country that loves horse racing and bicycle racing, as well as football, baseball and basketball, sports betting is big business in South Korea. Factor in state lotteries and casinos and you begin to understand how serious gambling is taken here, but it's crucial that we understand the country's legal stance.
In South Korea gambling is a crime under Chapter 23 of the Criminal Act. Article 246 stipulates that a person gambling for the purpose of gaining property shall be punished with a fine of not more than five million won. Because we have so many forms of legal gambling here now, this has been amended to exempt gambling which is for momentary pleasure. This same section also stipulates that habitual gamblers be punished by a prison sentence up to 3-years or a fine up to 20 million won.
Something not found elsewhere when looking at Gambling Laws by Country, is this law applies to citizens even when they are abroad. It is a crime for Koreans to play casino in Macau, Las Vegas or anywhere else that is outside our borders. This is not simply a law that is only on the books and then never enforced. Shin Jung-hwan is the former singer of the group Rula and made the news over this.
In 2003, Shin Jung-hwan was fined 5 million won (about USD $4,600) for gambling. He was fined double that in 2005. Later he was caught on video tape gambling in the Philippines. That was enough to spark his arrest when he returned to Korea, for which in 2011 he was given an 8-month prison sentence.
This was however using a celebrity to set an example. In Korea we have legal horse racing, bicycle racing, and sports betting on football, baseball, basketball, volleyball, golf and Ssirum (Korean-style wrestling, which is our traditional national sport). We have four lotteries, 16 casinos for tourists and a casino for Koreans. This is a lot of legal gambling for a country with strict laws against it.
In South Korea, most here do not have easy access to casinos or poker rooms. While we do have access to sports betting, the odds by Sports Toto and Sports Proto are poor compared to what can be found online. This is why internet betting is such a phenomenon.
Bodog88.com is operated from the Philippines where gambling is legal. They are however an international company. They have a .ca website for Canada and a sister brand in the US market called Bovada. The Bodog88 site is for Asia. Of the many languages supported is Korean, and of the many currencies supported is the won (원) (sign: ₩; code: KRW).
At Bodog Koreans can bet sports and play poker, casino and Mahjong for real money. You can fund your account with bank transfer from any Korean bank. From their cashier enter the amount you want to deposit. They will give you the details of their Korean bank account, and you go to your local bank and make a transfer.
This is all done on a post-up basis. For example, if you have ₩200,000 and make a bet for ₩50,000 your account balance is then ₩150,000. If your bet wins the ₩50,000 is added back to your balance and the winnings are added too. If you are lucky your balance will keep growing. At any time you want to cash out some or all of your balance you log-in to the Bodog88 cashier and request a withdrawal. They will transfer the money to your bank and you will have it in a couple days.
Using Bet365.com is not as easy as using Bodog88 but it is well worth the added hassle involved to get set up for making easy deposits. This is the world’s largest online gambling site and is the 7th largest private company in the UK. They stream live sports matches right from their website and have in-play betting.
They even have in-play betting on Korean sports including K-League, Korean Cup, League Cup and National League for football (soccer), WKBL and KBL for basketball, and men’s and women’s Volleyball League. They also have prematch betting on KPB baseball, beach volleyball and badminton from Korea. The sports betting odds are far better than Sports Toto and Sports Proto – plus you can bet leagues from anywhere else in the world too.
In addition there is a casino with live dealer games, slots, lottery and video poker. They have a very popular online poker room too.
To deposit with Bet365, or other gambling sites besides Bodog88 which takes bank transfer, an e-wallet is required. The best one for South Korea is www.skrill.com. This acts essentially as an online bank account. You should open your Skrill account in Euros (not Korean Won) as the currency. The reason why is because most every betting site accepts Euro but not many accept won. Later if you want to use many other gambling sites (which can be done to claim bonus offers, and promos and to find better odds) having your account in Euros will come in handy.
It is highly advised Koreans follow all steps to verify their Skrill account ASAP. This includes verifying your home address. When you request this verification they will send a letter to your home which has a code to enter online once it is received. You might also have to send them scans of your ID.
To fund your Skrill account you can try using your debit or credit card. If it does not work you will need to go to your bank and make a transfer in Euro. Once you have money in Skrill you can deposit it to www.bet365.com. They offer a 100% up €100 cash bonus (about ￦142,000) so for a ￦142,000 deposit you get an extra ￦142,000 free to bet with. You can also cash out your winnings to Skrill. The funds can then be used to deposit with other betting sites or to have the money transferred back to your Korean bank account. As mentioned, this works just like an online bank account. The difference is it has fast transfer to and from gambling sites.
Now that you understand how online betting from South Korea works, I will cover our legal forms of land based gambling and make some comparisons.
In Sports Toto the money players wager goes into a pool. 50% of it is kept by Sports Toto to go towards duty, operation costs, and their profit margins. The remaining 50% is paid to those who get all their wagers 100% correct. The games available are as follows.
Toto Soccer – For soccer (football) there are 3 different games offered.
1X2 Game – Choose home, away or draw in 14 soccer matches.
Correct Score Game – Predict the correct score of 2 or 3 matches.
Single Match – Predict the final first-half score, and final match score in a single match
Basketball Toto – Basketball also offers three Sports Toto games.
Win/5/Loss Game – For 14 matches choose between home by 6+ points, either team to win by 5 or less points, or away to win by 6+ points.
Correct Score -Predict the correct score margin in 2 or 3 matches.
Single Match – Predict the first half and final score margins of a single game.
Baseball Toto – For baseball there are four different games offered.
Run and Run – In 4 matches predict the number of home runs and final score of each team.
Trebles – predict the winner of 3 baseball games
Ranking – this betting slips has several teams and you select which 3 will have the highest score.
Single Match – Predict the number of home rules, strike outs and total runs for each team in a single match.
In volleyball we have only a single game that is popular. This pairs two matches together and you make 4 wagers between the two. This is 1) correct set score, and 2) margin of victory in the first set (2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7+) for both games.
In golf we have a game for predicting the first round score of 5 players and another of the same for 7 players. We also have a head to head game where players are matched together (5 matches of 2 players head to head) were you can select win lose or draw. The final game offered sees one player matched up against 11 others. For all 11 match ups you select if he will win, draw or lose.
Right now there is an extra issue game called TOTO OX. This is for raising funds for upcoming sports events such as 2014 Incheon Asian Games, F1 Korean Grands Prix, and others. This involves predicting the correct score in a combo of soccer, basketball, and baseball matches listed on the same card.
Sports Toto for sure has its place with recreational gamblers as the payouts can be very large and it offers some correlated betting propositions that cannot be found together online. A comparison report would be a detailed project as in some areas Toto is better and in other areas betting accumulators online is better. You can always compare options with each side by side and then decide which is best.
Sports Proto is fixed odds betting. Here the odds for each wager are quoted in decimal format. A winning wager pays stake times odds. If you stake ￦50,000 on odds 1.75 and win you get ￦50,000*1.75=￦87,500 – in this example the profit is ￦37,500. This carries forward by combining single wager into multiple bets. Unlike Sports Toto, this form of betting almost never offers better odds than can be found online. Let me show you some random examples using just basketball where I compare Sports Proto odds to the odds offered by Bet365.
NBA Basketball – Compare the point spreads in NBA match between Toronto Raptors (home team) vs. Washington Wizards (away team) using the point spread. The odds were:
Sports Porto – Home -5.5 points 1.66 Away +5.5 points 1.74
Bet365.com – Home -5.5 points 1.91 Away +5.5 points 1.91
KBL Basketball – Compare a match between Anyang KGC (home team) vs Seoul Knights (away team) that involved a point spread.
Sports Porto – Home +5.5 points 1.79 Away -5.5 points 1.62
Bet365.com – Home +5.5 points 1.94 Away -5.5 points 1.82
WKBL Basketball – Compare a playoff match between Yongin Samsung Life Blueminx (home team) vs Guri KDB Life Winnus (away team). The odds were as follows.
Sports Porto – Home 1.66 Away 1.74
Bet365.com – Home 1.91 Away 1.91
If you compare soccer, volleyball and baseball too – you’ll find the same holds true more than 99% of the time. The online bookmakers operate with much lower profit margins and therefore pay more on each and every wining bet.