Corruption scandal hits South Korean casino operator

  • Korea Times reports 493 allegedly nepotistic appointments
  • Scandal affects state-run Kangwon Land Inc

The only casino operator in South Korea that is permitted to accept gambling by locals has admitted giving employment to hundreds of people based on their political affiliations.

South Korea's Kangwon Land
South Korea’s Kangwon Land

The scandal, which has been called Kangwon Land Gate by the governing Democratic Party, involves alleged wrongdoing at the state-run Kangwon Land Inc, which operates the Kangwon Land casino resort in an upland area of Kangwon province, 93 miles from Seoul.

According to the Korea Times, the scandal began six years ago and resulted in a 2015 prosecution.

The Democratic Party has urged Korean prosecutors to reinvestigate both the original case and the politicians involved in it, and the opposition Justice Party has also weighed in on the cases, alleging that there has been a cover up.


In a statement made on Tuesday and reported in the Korea Times, Kangwon Land offered an apology for the crimes.

According to the news outlet, the casino operator laid the blame for the scandal, in which 493 allegedly nepotistic appointments were made, on their former chief executive Choi Heung-jip, who was in charge of the company from 2011 to 2014.

The current main opposition party, the Liberty Korea Party, was in government at the time of the misconduct, and in 2015, prosecutors closed the case, after indicting only Mr Choi and an official from the company’s human resources department.

In the statement, Kangwon Land offered an apology for the scandal, suggesting that the company had been trying to address its issues during the preceding months:

“A thing of the past is tarnishing the image of Kangwon Land, which has been trying hard to improve its transparency in recent years… It breaks the hearts of all employees and we are very sorry.”Kangwon Land statement

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