Kangwon Land Casino Under Probe - Tuesday 18th of October 2005

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) Monday launched a probe into Kangwon Land, the country’s casino for Koreans in Chongson, Kangwon Province, on suspicions that it is improperly hiring workers.

The ministry said it has dispatched 10 inspectors and the probe will run through Oct. 21.

At the parliamentary audit on the MOCIE and Kangwon Land last week, lawmakers urged the ministry to look into Kangwon Land, claiming that special measures against irregular management of the casino are necessary.

Rep. Lee Yoon-sung of the main opposition Grand National Party (GNP) said some employees of the casino engaged in private money lending and sexual harassment.

Lee also said the casino is producing a number of gambling addicts. ``It seems that The CEO of Kangwon Land neglects the seriousness of the situation.’’

More than 270,000 visitors lost 681.5 billion won gambling in the casino from October 2004 to July 2005, Rep. Ahn Kyung-yul of the GNP pointed out.

The figure represents that each gambler lost an average 2.52 million won.

Ahn said 27,395 of them, or about 10 percent, were addicted to gambling _ meaning they visited the casino more than 10 times during that period.

They gambled away a combined sum of 574.2 billion won, or 20.9 million won each.

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