The virtual poker rooms offered by kaypoker to South Koreans pose as better and safer alternatives to the illegal gambling establishments proliferating in Seoul. The illicit poker rooms known as Hold’em Pubs are hidden behind legitimate establishments, accessible only to those who know of their existence; usually expats and young Korean gamblers .
Actually, many poker players have already stopped going to the covert poker rooms in Seoul for fear of getting caught in the middle of raids being conducted by the Hold’em Pub Illegal Response Task Force. Sometime in July of 2023, the National Police Agency and heads of several government ministries announced the formation of the task force,
Members of the National Police took charge by raiding the pubs and bars that serve as legal fronts of the poker rooms. The task force’s goal is to effectively restrain the Hold’em pubs from proliferating further in the country.
How the Hold’em Pubs Work to Circumvent the Anti-Gambling Law
The Hold’em Pubs are “watering holes” so to speak, which allow poker players to use coupons as their ante and betting instrument. The coupons are purchased from the host pub, which the pub’s cashier will convert into real money when cashed out by players.
Apparently, the system circumvents the anti gambling law of the country, since task force raiders do not find any real money on the table when raids take place. Police authorities found only a group of people enjoying a round of drinks while engaged in a harmless and friendly game of poker.
However, the Hold’em Pub Task Force authorities warn players they also face risks of getting punished once the investigation proves they have been involved in gambling activities. The task force is actually enticing informants with offers of reward that could amount to up to 5 million won, in exchange for information and evidence.
In January of this year, the Hold’em Pub Task Force swooped down on a pub and arrested 46 people including two individuals known for being gangsters.
What to Look for in Online Gambling Venues
Gambling is illegal in South Korea and the only kinds of entertainment that SoKor nationals can place bets on are horse racing and lotto games. As far as gambling online is concerned, the Korean government has not passed any law that specifically touches on . This denotes that Internet-based gambling in SoKor is still a grey area.
Nevertheless, online casinos, online poker rooms and online sports betting outlets, which operate by using Virtual Private Network (VPN) , have grown increasingly popular as mainstream providers of recreational gambling.
Although local punters can access different online gaming venues to play for real money betting, those who do so are cautioned to play only in sites assessed and recommended by review sites. Usually, the online gambling platforms recommended have been vetted by reviewers in terms of license, security features, fairness of gambling rules, and integrity of payment systems.