Gamblers in South Korea might soon find out that they are too young to engage in their pastime. During the previous week, a bill got into the South Korean National Assembly. If it passes, it would elevate the minimum age for casino entry from 19 to 21. Kim Kwang-soo is a member of the Party for Democracy and Peace. He and nine other legislators are backing the bill. Their motivation is to try to curb the problem of gambling addiction. The changes in the legislature would impact two articles of the TPA (Tourism Promotion Act). This is why the change would be able to impact any casino with a TPA license.
Oddly enough, the changes would have little impact on domestic gamblers. Currently, one a single casino Kangwon Land is allowing gamblers from South Korea. 16 other casinos in the country are open only to international and foreign gamblers. This is why the critics of the changes in the bill state that the impact on the gambling addiction would be small. On the other hand, it would be able to cause disruption and irritation for gaming visitors.
Lawmakers who support the bill state that the change is necessary. Their reasoning comes with some undesirable facts. Firstly, the rates of gambling addiction among the youth of the country is rising. Secondly, 21 as an age limit is not an anomaly. Singapore and Macau, along with other popular destinations in Asia already feature the same limit. Therefore, the legislation change stands a good chance of passing. This will be bad news for Kangwon Land.
It has a lot of local visitors and it is already performing badly. In 2018, its profit fell by 32 percent year-on-year, unlike other South Korean casinos. Any loss from the local gamblers would likely continue the same trend in 2019. The fact that the facility has some bad press recently is also not helping.
With reports of embezzlement and corruption, as well as one former CEO already incarcerated, it definitely hopes against the changes in the TPA. Yet, it could get help from the Korea Casino Association. The organization is considering a fight against the bill, in particular in the National Assembly. Here, it could introduce a set of opposing opinions in an effort to stop the changes from taking place.
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