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Korean Casino Lures Others to Follow

9 November 2000

SOUTH KOREA – Nov. 9, 2000 – As reported by the Korea Times: "Crowds are flocking to a new casino in a coal-mining area of Chongson County, Kangwon Province, and other provincial governments are jockeying for position to get the central government's permission to build casinos in their own regions.

"Since it opened on Oct. 28, the Chongson Casino, the nation's first casino for both Korean citizens and tourists, has been wildly successful, with about 3,000 customers a day making the trek out to its remote location and as many as 5,000 turning up on Saturdays and Sundays.

"…Among those hoping to be the home of the second casino for residents are the governments of Munkyong, Kyongsang-pukto, Cheju-do, Inchon and Changnyong, Kyongsang-namdo.

"…As Kangwon-do is currently the only province which has been granted permission to operate a casino for Korean citizens, the Munkyong government is preparing to file a suit asking the courts to rule this arrangement unconstitutional.

"…A spokesman for the association of local residents to promote tourism in Pugok Hot Springs, Changnyong, Kyongsang-namdo Province, said that his organization will push ahead with a project to build a casino for local residents in cooperation with the city and provincial governments.

"…Experts, however, worry about the side effects of casinos for local residents, such as gambling addiction and bankruptcies.

"Just a week or so has passed since the opening of the first casino for Koreans, and already rumors are circulating that some gamblers have lost tens of millions of won there…"

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