Online Gambling

Online Gambling in North Korea

Gambling in North Korea is legal, but only for tourists, who are allowed to gamble on a highly regulated basis.

In the 1990s, investors from Hong Kong and Macau were allowed to open casinos in North Korea. Initially, two casinos were opened and attracted droves of Chinese gamblers.

Some reports say that corrupt Chinese officials embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Chinese government and lost it all at the casino in Rajin-Sonbong. That casino was closed in early 2005, and the Chinese Government has since restricted the flow of those wishing to cross the border into North Korea.

Today, there is only one operational casino in North Korea aptly called the Pyongyang Casino located within the Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyongyang, Pyongyang-si.

On the online gambling side, it is unclear whether or not North Korean residents and tourists can gamble online.

But in 2002, North Korea launched an online lottery site called (or in cooperation with a South Korean company led by businessman Kim Beom-hoon. Observers believe that since North Koreans have no financial means to gamble, the site was meant for South Korea residents. It reported to be the first website operated out of North Korea.

Winners of the lottery were promised one-hundred percent of the pot, as opposed to thirty-percent in most lottery games. With each visit to the site, players were able to wager from one to ten U.S. dollars.

About North Korea

North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, is located in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang.

The Amnok River and the Tumen River form the border between North Korea and the People's Republic of China. A section of the Tumen River in the extreme northeast is the border with Russia.

North Korea has an area of 120,540 square kilometers (about 46,528 square miles) and has a population of 24,051,218. It is the world's 55th most densely populated country.