Crackdown in South Korea

20 March 2000
The South Korean government has launched a massive effort to block its citizens' access to online gaming sites, while admitting that the feat is nearly impossible. The government discovered a Korean virtual gambling site in January, which has led to the crackdown, according to The Korea Times. Internet businesses were also complaining that employees were gambling online while at work.

Additionally, the ministry is planning a revision to current laws so that operators and users of online gambling sites can be punished. "The danger of Internet gambling is encroaching into all levels of society by the unrestrained accessibility of the Internet. It is the time to stop it before it grows into a bigger threat to the public," Ko Kwang-sop, a ministry official, told the Korea Herald.

He added, "Access to overseas sites is virtually restrained to Korean Internet users and they are very difficult to track. Gambling on such sites is on the sharp increase, causing huge amounts of foreign currency to flow out of the nation."

Five local website operators were arrested in South Korea for accepting bets over the Internet, and domestic ISPs have been told to install filtering software to block access to online gaming and betting sites, according to AFP Voila news service. Schools, libraries and other public facilities will also have blocking software installed on their computers.