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Illegal Casino Rakes In 130B Won

Posted September. 12, 2006 06:56,   


In January 2006, a 43-year-old man lost five million won overnight playing the gambling game Baccarat at a casino in Jangan-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul.

As he was leaving the 150-pyeong casino, a private money lender approached him. He made a loan on the principle of paying the principal and 10 percent interest before leaving the casino. He now has 450 million won in debt.

A private casino owner (39) and a money lender (39) made 130 billion won from November 2005 when the gambling site opened to September 2006.

The two and another person were arrested on charges of operating the largest private casino in Korea, providing aid to a gang, and exploiting over 100 billion won through lending money with high interest by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on September 11. Also, 69 dealers and customers were charged but not taken into custody.

Police investigation revealed that the arrested suspects set the bet minimum at five million won and raked in 130 billion won from 43,000 gamblers, including housewives, an owner of a kindergarten, and self-employed people who fell victim to dealer fees, fees on money exchange, and high-interest money lending.

The casino opened day and night and charged gamblers five percent of the amount of the bet as a dealer fee. If a casino dealer wins, he receives all the money in the pot. Police estimate the winning rate of the dealer is 60 to 70 percent. Dealers take over half of the bet. The casino charged them five percent when they exchanged chips for money.

For those who lost all they have, the private money lender stayed in the casino. He incited gamblers to continue betting with the money borrowed at 10 percent interest.

Those who lost even the borrowed money had to pay back with 10 percent compound interest.

Five out of 21 dealers at the casino graduated from colleges majoring in casino studies and 16 completed the dealer academy program. In addition, 18 of the 21 dealers are veterans who have 2-6 years of experience at casinos in Jeongseon, Jeju, and Seoul.

The casino stationed four employees over 180 centimeters tall and set five CCTVs at the entrance, elevators, and emergency exits. Inside the casino were eight CCTVs to monitor gamblers and dealers.

The casino owner bought and operated four unauthorized massage parlors in Jangan-dong, Dongdaemun-gu. He drove Benz Brabus 5.5 (worth 200 million won) and ordered another Benz car worth 340 million won.

He boasted his wealth, wearing a Piaget watch and had a deposit of 580 million won in bank.

The police are investigating the suspicion that the money lender lent 100 million won of casino profits to an organized crime ring in March.