SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Korea Bizwire) – The recent bust of a gambling ring by South Korean law enforcement agencies has once again turned the national spotlight on the enduring connection between illegal gambling and homemakers.
With annual numbers of around 4,000 (number of people discovered by police onsite) involved in illegal gambling in the previous few years, business is booming for those who arrange gambling meets. Interestingly enough, a significant portion of their success relies on the inclusion of homemakers, so much so that they arrange locations near high numbers of homemakers. A look at some gambling rings that were broken up by the police reveals that gambling can take place in diverse and unexpected places.
The Residence, May 6, 2012
Suwon Police announced that they had arrested three individuals in connection with an illegal gambling ring, two of whom were members of a criminal organization. The other was a 40-year-old housewife.
In addition, it was revealed that the organization had targeted residential areas with large numbers of homemakers. Once it began operations, it began to cautiously bring homemakers into the gambling ring. On the day of the arrests, the police estimated that anywhere from 400 to 700 million won had exchanged hands.
The Mountainside, November 13, 2008
Jeonbuk Provincial Police reported that they were charging 16 suspects with illegal gambling. The police explained that the 16 had erected a 33.3 square meter tent halfway up a mountain to keep away from prying eyes.
The group had gathered homemakers from the city of Daejeon as well as South Chungcheong, North Chuncheong and North Jeolla provinces.
The Greenhouse, August 31, 2017
Jeju Provincial Police disclosed to media outlets that they had arrested one individual and were in the process of investigating 42, some of them homemakers, with regards to a gambling ring that was held in a plastic greenhouse.
The police stormed the structure around noon on August 16, and discovered a gambling operation with around 90 million won in circulation.
The organizer had carried out the gambling ring by attracting homemakers to the facility and was taking 3 percent of the winnings.
According to Professor Park Chang Hwan of Jangan University, there is a general method in which illegal gambling organizations coax, prod and seduce homemakers into gambling. He specifically points out that illegal syndicates target “menopausal women or women who are depressed” and “curry favor with these women by accompanying them on trips to saunas and giving them gifts”.
The women are then gradually brought into the gambling circle and are encouraged to bet small amounts. Eventually, the “pot” grows, and the women unwittingly start betting larger sums until family cars and homes are brought into the mix.
The targeting of menopausal, depressed women show criminals have intuitively grasped that troubled women in strong need of companionship were easily lured into gambling. This idea runs parallel to the results of a study released last year and jointly conducted by researchers from Seoul National University and the State University of New York, Buffalo, which found that a sense of camaraderie was a major impetus for gambling.
The study, which focused on 16 women between the ages of 47 and 67, also pointed out that though there were fewer women than men suffering from gambling problems, the number of women seeking help for such problems increased from 37 in 2009 to 191 in 2013, indicating that gambling is a growing problem for women. The study also concluded that the numbers underrepresent the actual population of women with gambling problems.
September 13, 2017
Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police stated that they had indicted six individuals belonging to a criminal syndicate and booked without detention 25 others in connection with an illegal gambling ring that had been broken up in January.
From January 1 to 19, the group had staged 11 gambling meets during which 6 billion won in total had been bet. The meets had been held in homes, offices, restaurants and countryside pensions around Suwon and Hwasung.
Of the 25 that were booked, 16 were homemakers. According to the police, some are tens of millions of won in debt and were on the brink of losing their families due to their addiction.
The latest case is one of four that have been reported in the mainstream media this year. In actuality, there are many more undetected gambling rings operating in the shadows, constantly changing the location for fear of detection. The presence of homemakers may be the only constant.