Despite South Korea’s enviable reputation of having the fastest Internet connection in the world, it has no intention of supporting the online gambling sector. Aside from the SoKor government’s determination to limit the gambling activities of its citizens, there is also a critical need to protect the country’s Internet infrastructure against North Korea’s cyber attacks and hostile hacking operations.
South Korea’s economic success is largely attributed to its support of technological innovations, as its industries are powerhouses in their respective field. However, North Korea is that “fly in the ointment” that is keeping the country from getting too comfortable with its economic successes.
Apparently, the Democratic People’s Republic (North Korea) is still active in its pursuit of destabilizing, if not dominating the Republic of Korea (South Korea), since the Korean War instigated by North Korea ended unofficially in 1953 without any peace agreement in place.
Brief Background Info on Why the Sokor Government is Wary of Internet Gambling Websites
Back in 2015, South Korea’s then Chief of Defense Security Command Gen. Cho Hyun-chun made it known that based on intelligence reports, hackers launching offensive operations in the country have been found as directly linked to the cyber division of North Korea’s intelligence unit. Called Bureau 121, the North Korean cyber division employs 6,000 full-time hackers to specifically carry out cyber espionage directed at South Korea.
One such offensive cyber activity involves the operation of online gambling websites that directly target South Koreans. The National Intelligence Service (NIS) presented information to the National Assembly audit that showed how 1,100 North Korean computer experts have been operating online gambling sites in other Asian countries like China and Malaysia. According to the NIS, the websites are luring mostly South Koreans, with each site raking in an average of US$20,000 as gambling revenues. .
The NIS specifically mentioned a North Korean online sports betting site that collected as much as 4 billion won in the first half of 2015 alone. Aside from intentions to create havoc in the SoKor government’s efforts to keep South Korean’s sports betting behavior in check, the NIS is also concerned that North Korea could use the illegal online sports betting operations in deploying malware for its spying activities.
About South Korea’s Sports Toto
Presumably, North Korea’s relentless hacking activities is also one of the reasons why Sports Toto, the government-backed provider of sport betting services remains adamant against the use of an online platform.
Although staking wagers on sports events held locally in South Korea is legal, the law that lifted some of the gambling restrictions, included provisions that saw to the establishment of Sports Toto. The purpose of which is to limit sports betting activities among Korean citizens to ensure responsible gambling and to prevent gambling addiction.
Moreover, as much as 50% of the profits generated by Sports Toto goes to the government’s Korea Sports Promotion Fund, which the country uses as financial resources for various sports development programs and projects. Still, despite the risks of being fined for placing bets online, many Korean gamblers still access betting markets offered by bookmakers on championship events held in other countries.
Nevertheless, most South Korean sports bettors are savvy enough when choosing a sports toto site. They place bets only on platforms supported by a third party messaging app that runs on a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
One such example is nangman24toto (https://nangman24toto.com/), which uses the Telegram app when accepting and processing wagers and payouts on behalf of customers. Mainly because communication data sent via Telegram’s VPN servers are encrypted end-to-end, which protects both the sports bettor and the betting platform against malicious hackers and cyber attackers.