South Korea: Internet Gambling Charges Up 700 Percent

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
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This year, 1,681 people have been charged with illegal gambling over the Internet in South Korea compared to just 248 this year.  The rationale behind this:  In a struggling economy desperate people will be looking for those big wins.

Sometimes they get lucky.  Just look at the number of online poker millionaires the industry churned out in 2008.

Of course, in South Korea if you are among the 1,681 taken into custody this year for illegal Internet gambling - even if you were a winner - you're probably not so lucky.  Internet gambling is considered a crime in that country.

Cho Byeong-in, a researcher at the Korean Institute of Criminology explained that the destruction of human relationships caused by economic hardship is the major cause for an increase in crimes.

"Traditional and stable human relationships tend to become unstable or destroyed and then people who lose a certain role do unusual things or engage in crime," said the researcher.

Oh, and loan sharking is also up in the country: In 2006, 876 people were charged with illegal loan-sharking but this year alone till the third quarter that number has jumped to 3,711.

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Jagajeet Chiba, 

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