Nearly 12% of Jeju Island’s High School Students at High Risk of Gambling Addiction

Nearly 12% of high school students living on South Korea’s Jeju Island are at high risk of becoming gambling addicts, according to a recent study. The research was conducted by the Korea Center on Gambling Problems and its results were published on Monday.

The center said that it has surveyed as many as 671 middle school students and 328 high school students. Its report shows that around 5.4% of the interviewed middle school students and 11.9% of the high school students who participated in the study were at high risk of gambling addiction.

A teenager who took part in the survey was quoted saying that he had lost more than KRW10 million (approximately $8,864) while gambling. He further pointed out that he had mostly wagered on sports betting, but had engaged in other gambling activities, as well. He also said that he had stolen money from friends and family after he had spent his own. The teenager is currently receiving a therapy.

The Korea Center on Gambling Problems commenced its activities late in 2017. The center offers therapy to affected teenagers, organizes campaigns for greater awareness, and engages in different other activities aiming to prevent teenagers from becoming problem gamblers or gambling addicts and help those who have already fallen victims to excessive gambling.

Gambling in South Korea

Brick-and-mortar casinos are among the few gambling operations that are legal under South Korea’s gambling laws. However, most of the country’s more than 20 casinos admit only foreign visitors. In fact, there is just one casino in South Korea that allows Korean gamblers to its gaming floor – the Kangwon Land casino resort in the Jeongseon County. The property has been operational since 1998.

Betting on horse racing and lottery are the other two legal gambling options in the country. Online gambling is strictly prohibited in South Korea, with online lottery sales being the only legal exception to the existing rules.

Both individuals who provide illegal gambling services on the territory of the country and individuals that engage in such services are subject to penalties and criminal prosecution, under South Korean gambling laws. It is also important to note that South Korean nationals are allowed to engage in legal gambling activities from the age of 18.

Jeju Island, the popular tourist destination that was the object of the Korea Center on Gambling Problems’ research, is home to nine operational casino resorts, with Jeju Shinhwa World being the latest one to open doors there. The property was launched in February, and has already raked in KRW369.4 billion (approximately $327.5 million) in revenue, according to a report by its parent company.

It has thus become the island’s winningest casino resort. The eight other operational properties on the island have together generated KRW136.5 billion over the same period.

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