South Korean authorities are investigating a casino in the city of Daegu on the suspicion of bilking foreign tourists in crooked games.
If the allegations against the Golden Crown Daegu Casino, based in the Hotel Inter-Burgo, are proven to be true, it will face severe sanctions from culture and tourism authorities, according to South Korea’s AP News. These include possible license suspension.
That’s because Golden Crown has been in trouble before. In 2014, four casino officials, including its former chairman, were charged with fraud and theft after they were found to have employed dealers who used cheating techniques to relive tourists of their money.
Prosecutors accused the casino of stealing around US$2 million from three baccarat players between May 2012 and April 2014 by using the card manipulation technique known as “bottom dealing.”
Not on the Square
This is a sleight of hand maneuver in which a dealer deals the bottom card from the deck instead of the top card, allowing for a predetermined outcome.
The Golden Crown was also previously fined around US$8,000 for letting Koreans enter and gamble on the premises from September 2011 to March 2012.
South Korean citizens are prohibited from gambling in the country’s casinos. All are foreigner-only, apart from one, the state-owned Kangwon Land Casino, 80 miles from Seoul.
In fact, because the country also prohibits its citizens from gambling abroad, Kangwon Land is the only place in the world where South Koreans can gamble legally.
The exact nature of the new allegations against the Golden Crown are unclear, but investigators are leaving no stone unturned, according to local media reports.
Following allegations made against the casino earlier this year, the Daegu District Prosecutor’s Office’s Violent Crimes Detective Department raided the property, seizing computers, files, and other potential evidence, and subpoenaing executives and employees.
The owners are also under investigation for possible embezzlement and breach of trust, authorities said.
Because of South Korea’s foreigner-only policy, casinos come under the purview of the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, which is expected to take a dim view of activities that could harm tourism in the East Asian country.
But one unnamed industry official told South Korea’s BreakNews Monday that an independent gambling regulator should be established to ramp up oversight over casino operations.
“Fraudulent gambling is tarnishing the international image of all casinos in Korea,” they said. “We need the strict will of relevant organizations. A casino supervisory body should be established as a matter of urgency.”
Golden Crown officials declined to comment when approached by BreakNews.
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