Best South Korea Sports Betting Sites: Where to Bet Online

South Korea has some of the most restrictive policies in the world on internet usage, and that rolls over to online sports betting. Current laws prohibit the practice of sports betting, and bettors can face penalties for gambling online.

However, the South Korean government doesn’t actively prosecute sites or punters at present, leaving the door open for South Koreans to still make bets on offshore sites.

Learn more about the laws surrounding online sports betting in Korea, what types of games you can bet on at offshore sportsbooks and how to fund your online sports betting account in South Korea.

South Korea Betting Sites

South Korea offers two options for live sports betting, but they are poor options indeed. They offer parimutuel betting and fixed-odds betting on football, baseball, basketball, volleyball and golf, but the odds are abysmal compared with overseas sportsbooks, and it is tough to win a substantial sum.

Online sports betting sites offer much better odds and a wider variety of options for sports fans. If you want to bet on the upcoming FIFA World Cup, you will find lines with much more realistic odds than you can in South Korea. You’ll also bet on a broader array of sports. If you love English and American football leagues, you can bet them on offshore sports betting sites.

When you’re ready to make your first deposit, check out the special offers on each site so you can boost your first deposit. Most places offer an excellent welcome bonus that will give you a deposit match or free bets to help you get started. Check out the promotions section of your preferred site to learn more.

Is Sports Betting Legal in South Korea?

Unfortunately, online sports betting is illegal in South Korea. Under Article 246 and 247 of the Criminal Code, if someone is caught playing on an unlicensed sportsbook, they are subject to a fine of up to KRW 5 million ($4,370 US).

Anyone convicted of being a “habitual gambler” can face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to KRW 20 million ($17,840 US).

However, the Criminal Code makes an interesting exemption, stating that “gambling which is just for momentary pleasure is exempted.” By this, anyone who gambles recreationally will likely not be prosecuted for placing bets online.

With that said, the South Korean law does not explain the difference between recreational gambling and habitual gambling. South Korea is a country famous for censorship and interpreting their rules as they see fit.

Also, ISPs are required to block the IP address of many sportsbooks, making them inaccessible to the average bettor.

What are Popular Sports to Bet on in South Korea?

The leading sports to bet in South Korea are football (soccer) and baseball. Football receives more bets than any other sport, with bettors focusing action on the K-League and major international tournaments such as the FIFA World Cup and the AFC Asian Cup. Punters also love to bet on foreign leagues such as the English Premier League.

Koreans love to bet on baseball, with a lot of bets being placed on the KBO League, the Olympics and Major League Baseball in North America.

Other sports that South Koreans regularly wager on include horse racing, basketball, golf and ssirum. International sports that are routinely wagered on include the NFL, NBA, MMA, Aussie Rules football, cricket and esports.

Do Bettors Have to Pay Taxes on their Winnings?

The good news is that South Korean sportsbook bettors will not have to pay taxes on winnings. Under the South Korean law, only lottery winnings are required to be taxed.

Laws could change in the future should South Korea change its stance on sports betting.

How to Make a Deposit At a Sportsbook in South Korea

The truth is that you will have to jump through a few extra hoops to regularly play at a sportsbook in Korea. Firstly, since South Korean ISPs ban most sportsbooks, you will have to use a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, to gain access.

Next, you will likely be unable to use any funding options tied to credit cards or bank accounts because they are easily traceable. Since online gambling is outlawed, you will be unable to make a deposit using these methods.

As such, you will need to stick to e-wallets to make your deposits. Neteller and Skrill are the two e-wallets most commonly used on sportsbooks, and we recommend using them to make your deposit.

Also, the South Korean won is not accepted at most sportsbooks, so we recommend that you make a deposit using euros as almost every site takes them. You may incur conversion fees to convert funds from the won to euro.

Next, be prepared to have to jump through some hoops for ID verification. Many sites are going to require English ID verification and verified translations of any documents sent to verify your identity.

Finally, you will have to use your e-wallet accounts for both deposits and withdrawals. That’s another reason why we recommend Neteller and Skrill for deposits. It helps to simplify what is already an involved process.

Mobile Betting Options

Over the last few years, all online sportsbooks have begun accepting bets via mobile. You can now use your smartphone, tablet or any form of internet-capable mobile device to place sports bets online.

The method you’ll use to place these bets depends on the site. Many sportsbooks now offer mobile-optimized websites. Mobile-optimized sites allow you to log in via your device’s web browser the same way as you would your computer.

Chrome and Safari are the best browsers to use for mobile-optimized sites. You’ll be able to access all of the same betting options as on your PC. Also, you can open an account, make a deposit and cash out all from your mobile device.

Some sites still are going “old school” and using mobile apps for betting. While better than nothing, many mobile apps lack functionality compared to mobile-optimized sites. You’ll still be able to make bets on the most popular games and leagues, but otherwise your options will be limited.

In some cases, you may be forced to log in to your PC to conduct account transactions such as making a deposit. For some, specific devices may not be supported, such as Windows Phone.

If you plan to make bets via your mobile devices, check out available promotions for mobile users. Sportsbooks often have exclusive offers for mobile users to encourage more betting from mobile devices. These deals can be found in the promotions section of the website.

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