For the first time ever, fully automated electronic table games (ETGs) have been approved for use in South Korean casinos, according to the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
According to the ministry: “fully-automated means any stand-alone electronic table game or stadium setup for such games where the playing sequences are controlled only by a machine. Electronic table games with a human dealer present are classified as “manned” (staffed) games.”
The ministry announced that the approval for the fully automated ETGs was issued in February, but that it was mentioned on the ministry’s website only recently, on April 25. Additionally, the ministry is the regulator for the casino sector in South Korea.
Casinos have included ETGs in their offer:
A representative of Jeju Dream Tower casino, a foreigner-only venue on the holiday island of Jeju, told GGRAsia that “following the ministry’s ruling, it had since April converted an ETG stadium with 71 seats, to a fully-automated setup.” In addition, Jeju Dream Tower is managed by Korea Exchange-listed Lotte Tour Development Co Ltd.
Beside Jeju Dream Tower, there are other casinos in the country that have included ETGs in their offerings. Here are examples of some of them:
- Kangwon Land resort, which is operated by Kangwon Land Inc and the country’s only casino that allows wagering by locals, told GGRAsia it runs the ETG stadium, but has not yet exercised the option to switch to full automation;
- Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd, which manages three foreigner-only casinos under the Seven Luck brand, told GGRAsia it currently offers some semi-automated ETGs and has the option to switch to full automation if it wants to.
However, there are some casinos that don’t include ETGs in their offering, such as Shinhwa World Casino in Jeju, which is operated by Hong Kong-listed Shin Hwa World Ltd, previously known as Landing International Ltd, who told GGRAsia that it does not currently offer fully automated ETGs.
South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) is the central government agency that manages the Department of Tourism, Culture, Art, Religion and Sports. It has two deputy ministers, three assistant ministers, one commission and more than 60 departments. The first Minister of Culture was the novelist Lee O-young.
Branches such as the National Museum, the National Theater, and the National Library are under the responsibility of the Ministry. The headquarters is located in the Sejong Government Complex in Sejong City. In addition, the previous headquarters was in Jongno District, Seoul.