S. Koreans Arrested for Gambling

South Korean prosecutors have indicted the founder of a cosmetics firm for gambling in jurisdictions outside his homeland. Jeong Un-ho and others known to gamble in Macau and elsewhere could face years of prison time.

Several high-rolling South Koreans have been arrested or face arrest for gambling outside the country in jurisdictions including Macau and the Philippines, according to the website CalvinAyre.com.

Among those charged is Jeong Un-ho, founder of a cosmetic company called Faceshop. He allegedly wagered a total of KRW 10b (US $8.5 million) outside South Korea.

New reports also indicate that charges may be filed against Kim Beom-soo, chairman of the telecommunications firm Kakao. Kim is an alleged high roller who liked to play at casinos in Las Vegas.

South Korea has 17 casinos, but only one is open to residents, and the country clearly frowns upon South Koreas gambling regularly or for high stakes in other countries. Penalties include fines of up to KRW 20 million and up to three years in prison. In 2011, for example, Korean entertainer Shin Jung Hwan got eight months in prison for gambling KRW 210 million at a casino in the Philippines. In 2013, several other Korean celebrities got six months for online sports betting; those sentences were suspended with promises of good behavior.