SEOUL, July 20 (Korea Bizwire) — A recent study revealed that gamblers who once used to frequent Kangwon Land, the country’s only casino open to locals, are now engaging in illegal gambling after it was shut down following the coronavirus outbreak.
Kim Yong-geun, a member of Kangwon Land’s addiction management center, and Hong Hye-mi, a researcher from Sungkyunkwan University, conducted one-on-one interviews with 20 gambling addicts who have been staying near the casino for an extensive period.
These gambling addicts, 11 of whom are male, and nine of whom are female, have lived near Kangwon Land, located in Jeongseon, some 200 kilometers east of Seoul, for as short as 1 year and 6 months, or as long as 20 years.
All of the interviewees said they were struggling financially following the coronavirus outbreak.
They lost their source of income after Kangwon Land was shut down.
The research team argued that gambling addicts in similar situations are being drawn to illegal gambling online using computers.
Online gambling, unlike Kangwon Land, is possible 24 hours a day and players can bet larger amounts of money, posing a bigger risk for gamblers.
Gambling addicts were found to be struggling with severe depression and anxiety due to the spread of illegal online gambling and financial difficulties.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)