Most forms of gambling in South Korea are illegal but punters can at least place bets on a limited number of sports markets through Sports Toto, which is pari-mutuel style wagering, or through Sports Proto which offers fixed odds betting.
This betting sector is regulated by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and is essentially a government monopoly.
Like most monopolies, the betting options and odds fall well short of what offshore online bookmakers offer to those who want to bet in Korea.
This makes internet bookies a very attractive alternative for sports betting in Korea. The only problem is that online betting is illegal here.
Internet betting is illegal in many countries but unlike the majority of these countries, South Korea takes a proactive approach to fighting illegal online betting.
The internet and newspapers are rife with reports of arrests, heavy fines, and incarceration for breaching the online gambling laws.
The authorities monitor internet activities, ban foreign betting sites, and the banks can block financial transactions with betting sites.
As you might imagine, that makes even a simple task like slapping down a football bet in Korea, somewhat problematic.
Also, unlike most other jurisdictions, South Koreans are also prohibited from betting in other countries. As unlikely as it might seem, there have been several South Koreans arrested for in other countries.
Even with these strict rules in place, many punters here find their way to foreign online bookmakers. Using a VPN (virtual private network) to engage in online betting in Korea is one way to go about it.
Alternatively, playing at a site which is not as well-known to the authorities is another way to bet in Korea.
Players based in Korea who bet regularly will almost certainly use one of these two options.
As a result, South Korean online betting is thriving, and the bookies are only too happy to take bets from this lucrative wagering market.
Top 10 Betting Sites for South Korea  – Updated List
What are the Best Sports Betting Sites and Bookmakers for South Korea?
Intrepid South Korean sports bettors that are bold enough to take their chances online have a long list of reputable internet bookmakers to choose from.
The world’s most trusted brands like William Hill and Unibet are well-known for delivering excellent service, competitive odds, and a secure environment. With betting in Korea closely monitored, a VPN may be needed to access such famous betting sites as these.
Seasoned South Korean sports bettors also know that Pin-up.Bet, and 18Bet offer fair play, fast payouts, and a wide variety of sports betting markets. When looking for internet bookmakers that offer in-play wagering, live streaming, and betting apps, punters often turn to top-rated sites like Bwin or 22Bet.
Punters know that these online bookies operate to the highest standards wherever they are, and they also have a steady supply of bonuses for Korean bettors.
On top of that, there are a handful of top sites offering sports betting in Korea which also permit their players to bet in Korean. The ability to deposit, wager and withdraw using their own language is certainly appealing to anybody in South Korea who bets online.
What are the Most Popular Sports in South Korea?
In this country of over 50 million people, sports are a big part of their lives. Traditional events like martial arts have an enduring legacy here. Golf, tennis, and rugby are gaining in popularity while handball, cricket, and table tennis are enjoyed by scores of people here. Alpine sports have a good following but the most popular sports here are soccer and baseball.
As touched on, placing a football bet in Korea can be tricky, though is by no means impossible. Betting odds in the Korea Republic tend to be shown in decimal format, as is common elsewhere in the world.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in South Korea?
In South Korea, online betting is strictly forbidden. The authorities closely monitor the internet, block online wagering sites, banks can block suspicious transactions, and players are prosecuted. The threat of harsh penalties is not hollow.
Of course, monitoring the internet activities of such a massive population is easier said than done and many punters get away with regularly placing bets with foreign online bookies. Even so, if you want to be on the safe side, it won’t hurt using a VPN when engaging in online betting in South Korea.
Are there any Sports Betting Bonuses and Free Bets for South Korean Players?
Regardless of the intense efforts that the authorities put into fighting online wagering, the fact is that internet bookies are taking a lot of action from South Korean punters. This region represents a large and hungry sports betting market and the biggest names in online gaming are right there to offer their services. They also have some great bonuses that are easy to claim.
Top-rated online bookies like William Hill, Unibet and Bwin are great options for bonuses for Korean players. South Korean sports gamblers can cash in on up to €100 or more in free betting bonuses at William Hill and 18Bet while 1xBet are offering up to €130 in free bet bonuses.
There are also plenty of cryptocurrency cash betting bonuses available, which is handy if South Korean bettors fancy a touch of anonymity to boot. Domains such as Cloudbet serve up a 100% match up to 5 BTC, while 1xBit has a more modest 100% bonus worth up to 1BTC.
These betting bonuses are easy to get your hands on and they are loads of fun to use. Find more awesome bonuses by going to the promotions section at Gambling Judge. Don’t forget to take a look at the bookmaker reviews while you are there.