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Kangwon land to impose cooling off measures

Kangwon Land, the only casino in South Korea where locals are permitted to gamble, is considering imposing tougher measures to prevent problem gambling.

The operator is planning to implement a cooling off period of up to three months for those suspected of problem gambling, according to local media reports.

CEO Ham Seung-hui told the National Assembly earlier this week that the “cooling off” period would be introduced as early as next year. He said the company has almost finished talks with regulating body, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

At present, locals are allowed to gamble for up to 15 days a month. Those who visit the casino for 30 days in two consecutive months are suspected as addicts and banned. However, that ban can now be lifted if they attend a six-hour rehabilitation process.

Under the new proposals, those who gamble 30 days over two months will be banned for a month for the first violation. If they repeat the frequency they will receive a two month ban and on third time will get a three-month penalty.

The casino is also considering upping its admission fee to 40,000 ($36) from the current 9,000 won. Ham also said he would review the suggestion by some lawmakers to reduce the permitted number of days per month for admission from the current 15 to eight, the reports said.

Last year, 635,370 people visited the casino. Of them, 2,165 visited on more than 100 days a year, and 9,566, between 50 and 99 days.

Kangwon Land, located in a remote area of the country, was by far the best-performing casino in South Korea last year, as tourism arrivals slumped in the wake of an outbreak of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome.


The crisis highlighted the risks of foreigner-only casinos and led to calls from investors interested in investing in the country to lift the ban.  

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