Korean Black Market Horseracing Growing

12/19/09 – The market for illegal private gambling on horse races in Korea could be as high as 30 trillion won ($25.5 billion), four times ‘legal' sales at the state-owned monopoly, according to Korea Racing Authority numbers released this week.

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The agency told news publication JoongAng Daily that it estimated black market revenues at between 9.3 trillion won to 30.5 trillion won last year, which is 125 pc to 411 pc the total 2008 ‘legal' sales at the KRA.

The Authority said that the increasing availability of Internet betting had contributed to the soaring black market.
Bets on horse racing in Korea can only legally be made through the KRA, which falls under the authority of the government's Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and has three racing parks in Busan, Jeju and near Seoul.

The agency also operates 32 betting venues, where the public can gamble while watching real-time televised horse races at the three parks.
A bidding cap of 100 000 won per race was criticised in the KRA report, with the agency calling it too low to keep people interested in legal betting, driving punters to the Internet. The agency said it would consider raising the cap for foreigners.