- Posted by Daniel Meesak
- On 23rd October 2015
- casino, casinos, chinese, gambling, jeju, jeju island, south korea, tourism, tourists
China’s government, with an exposé in state run television channel CCTV, accused Jeju Island casinos of attempting to lure Chinese customers to their casinos by offering them sexual services as a bonus for purchasing gambling chips. According to the CCTV report, the purchase of chips worth 100,000 RMB (€13,856) includes a massage, 200,000 RMB (€27,713) worth of chips includes a “one-time service” from an aspiring Korean model or actress, and 500,000 RMB (€69,283) includes three days of “services”.
According to CCTV’s exposé, documents were confiscated from raids on travel offices in China this year, resulting in 13 South Koreans’ and 34 Chinese nationals’ arrest on the grounds of offering illicit perks to Chinese gamblers visiting Jeju Island casinos. Chinese recruiters allegedly received a 1.6 percent kickback on purchases made by the Chinese gamblers they steered to Jeju Island casinos, with a substantial bonus of $31,000 (€27,363) if the gamblers lost $156,000 (€137,700) or more. The raids are reported to have resulted in the confiscation of over $4.8 million (€4.2 million) in illegal gambling money.
According to a Chinese government official at the Chinese consulate in Jeju, there has also been a significant increase in the number of Chinese tourists being extorted or having their passports confiscated after borrowing money from loan sharks at Jeju Island casinos.
Jeju currently has 8 foreigners-only casinos operating on the island, primarily catering to Chinese customers, with two more large-scale integrated resorts and casinos in development, one by Genting Singapore, and another by South Korean conglomerate Lotte. Since these casinos rely on Chinese gamblers to break even, some fear that the CCTV report is meant as a warning to South Korea, which is already trying to recover from the slump in tourism resulting from the MERS outbreak earlier this year.
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