Another man recalls, "I was so immersed in cyber casino games that I had to borrow money from my friends. After a year, I lost about one billion won gambling."
The Cyber National Policy Agency (CNPG) has reported that about 20,000 to 30,000 people in Korea have tried cyber gambling. There are approximately 70 to 80 different gambling sites in Korea and some sites have as many as 5,600 different game rooms where people can play games, such as Hwa-tu (Korean card game) for money.
"Illegal gambling sites usually offer fraudulent gambling. Some sites offer premiums to induce more players to get involved in the cyber gambling or win the game. Some sites offer excessive cyber money to the players, and this obviously causes more people to immerse themselves in gambling," says an official of the CNPG. He said that more than 70 gambling sites have been exposed so far.
Further along the line, cyber gambling is of concern because of its influence over university students. For beginners, cyber gambling is easier to approach than offline gambling because of its assured anonymity and relatively lower costs of betting. Therefore, it is possible for students to fall into a cyber gambling habit when they would not even walk into a real casino.
"Students in their twenties can be easily exposed to cyber gambling, and if they are exposed to it for too long, it is likely that they will be involved with offline gambling in the future," explains an official of the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC).
Strong measures from the government are being taken to discourage gambling websites. And in order to help people to avoid becoming addicted to cyber gambling, the Information Center of Korea (ICK) has opened a consultation center for those who need special care to overcome the addiction. Everyone is welcomed to participate and the consultation is free of charge. Moreover, ICK is endeavoring to provide various programs to assist people who are addicted to Internet games, cyber gambling, and chatting.
Recently, the Supreme Public Prosecutor"s Office (SPPO) has planned to initiate special investigations to expose illegal gambling sites. According to the MIC, and the Information Communication Ethics Community (ICEC), 13 gambling sites have been indicted for holding illegal gambling contests, and the Supreme Court of Korea has imposed fines of 100 to 500 million won on those who ran the sites.