South Korea Aims to Curb Online Gambling Games Featuring Admiral Yi Sun-sin | Be Korea-savvy

South Korea Aims to Curb Online Gambling Games Featuring Admiral Yi Sun-sin

A 'Yi Sun Shin' slot machine game (Photo: a screenshot of the game's official website)

A ‘Yi Sun Shin’ slot machine game (Photo: a screenshot of the game’s official website)

SEOUL, Apr. 17 (Korea Bizwire) – As controversy swirled over the global circulation of an online slot machine game featuring the revered Korean naval commander Admiral Yi Sun-sin, the Korea Communications Standards Commission vowed to actively monitor and review such offerings to prevent their proliferation.

The commission first requested that platform operators like YouTube enforce self-regulation by taking appropriate measures against videos that introduce or promote slot games based on Admiral Yi, as such content potentially violates the commission’s guidelines. 

“Any gambling sites circulating without proper legal authorization are illegal, regardless of their type or method,” the commission emphasized, adding that it would “swiftly take action to prevent the appropriation of Admiral Yi Sun-sin’s legacy for these unlawful gambling sites.” 

Last year, the commission issued 55,610 corrective orders regarding illegal gambling information, and in the first quarter of 2023 alone, it has already decided on 16,134 such orders.

The controversy erupted when it came to light that Pragmatic Play, a British game developer, had introduced a slot game titled “YI SUN SHIN” on its website’s product showcase. 

Running the demo version revealed a 49-square grid randomly populated with images of turtle ships, cannons, swords, bows, and banners.

The right side of the screen depicted a man with graying hair in Chinese-style armor, wielding a sword.

As the reels spun, winning combinations triggered voice-overs in Korean, such as “Victory is mine. Get ready to fire,” “Admiral Yi Sun-sin has returned for his country,” and “It is the will of heaven.”

The screen displayed betting amounts and balances denominated in South Korean won. 

While Pragmatic Play’s game circulates through illicit gambling sites, online casinos targeting adults are legal in the UK but entirely prohibited in South Korea.

YouTube searches also reveal numerous videos streaming gameplay or promoting the Admiral Yi slot machine, some even displaying jackpot amounts in Korean won and providing links to private gambling sites or messaging groups—potentially constituting illegal online gambling advertisements.

Kevin Lee ( 

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