In January, the government passed legislation allowing domestic cruise ships to add casinos to their entertainment palette. Earlier this month, Yoo’s ministry announced that these shipboard casinos would be ‘open’, i.e. open to local residents.
Not long after that statement, an official from the Culture Ministry – the folks in charge of issuing gaming licenses – said no one had discussed this plan with them. The official claimed it would take “considerable time to draw a public consensus” on the idea of letting locals gamble on the high seas.
The Culture Ministry reportedly fears the ripple effect of such a decision. The Korea Herald quoted an unidentified ‘industry insider’ saying that if locals were allowed to gamble onboard, the large integrated resorts being built near Incheon and on Jeju would “call for the equal treatment.”