In having high availability of Internet connection that allows for high-speed data transfer, 91.8% of South Koreans use the Internet for various activities. Although online gambling is prohibited, the restriction applies only to Korean citizens. Yet accessing online casinos and sports betting sites is still possible, since millions of foreigners visiting, living and/or working in Korea are not subject to such prohibitions.
Major Composition of South Korea’s Official Resident Aliens
According to the latest (2019) data published by the country’s Ministry of Justice, South Korea is fast becoming a multicultural society. Yearly growth has been noted each year, which has raised the current number of foreigners in South Korea to 2,524, 656. Foreigners account for 4.9% of the Republic of Korea’s total population of 51.64 million. Based on academics’ determination of a multicultural nation, it is so, if the number of foreigners living in the country exceeds 5% of the country’s population.
Now there are things notable about the composition of the foreigners that have made South Korea as their residence. The Ministry of Justice also took note of the fact that about 68.6% of the foreigners staying in the Republic of Korea (ROK) have registered as long-term resident aliens, which means they are not ROK citizens. On a per nationality classification, Chinese nationals represent the largest group, accounting for 1,101,782 (43.6% ) of the nation’s foreign population.
The rest constitutes people from Vietnam (224,518), Thailand (209,909), the U.S. (156,982), Japan (86,196), Uzbekistan (75, 320), Philippines (62,398), Russia (61,427), Indonesia (48,854), Mongolia (48,185) and Cambodia (47,565). Since the majority comes from countries where gambling is a large part of their culture, it does not come as a surprise why the online gambling business continues to thrive in South Korea.
How Foreign Residents Gamble Online in South Korea
Although the country’s Internet service providers (ISPs) are under government orders to block offshore-based online gambling websites, foreigners in the ROK use mobile devices when gambling online. The country’s high-speed wireless Internet connection, which ranks fourth as the fastest on a global scale, along with mobile gambling apps that connect to Virtual Private Network servers, make it possible for both foreigners and South Koreans to engage in various online gambling activities.
Although the ROK government has given its citizens permission to gamble, casino gaming activities are legal only if taking place in the remotely located Kangwon Land Casino and Resort in Jeongseon Gun. Korean citizens can also place bets on sports events but only if they use the facilities of the government-backed Sports Toto Korea.
Many Korean gamblers also seek the online sportsbooks of EU- or UK-licensed bookmakers; but generally, sports betting activities among South Koreans are transacted only with Sports Toto. Not only because it is the legal thing to do, but also to give support to the country’s sports industry. As prescribed by the country’s gambling law, 50% of the bets placed in Sports Toto Korea, goes to a national sports fund that provides funding for the government’s various sports development projects.
Besides, locating a trustworthy and user-friendly online sportsbook can be difficult for some ROK locals due to language barriers. Many are wary of agreeing to betting terms and conditions, which when stated in English, are not fully comprehensible to them. Nonetheless, there are websites like nangman24toto (https://nangman24toto.com/ ) that provide direct access to trusted online sports toto sites available in Korean language.