Singer Jung Jin-Woo Gets 1 Year in Prison for Online Gaming

Korean singer Jung Jin-woo, who rose to prominence on K-pop Star, has been sentenced to one year in prison for illegal online gaming. Jin-woo appeared on the fifth season of K-pop Star – South Korea’s answer to American Idol – and made a deep run in 2015. He got as far as the 17th episode, […]

jung-jin-woo-gamblingKorean singer Jung Jin-woo, who rose to prominence on K-pop Star, has been sentenced to one year in prison for illegal online gaming.

Jin-woo appeared on the fifth season of K-pop Star – South Korea’s answer to American Idol – and made a deep run in 2015. He got as far as the 17th episode, where he was eliminated in 7th place.

Following Jin-woo’s elimination, Korean authorities revealed that they’d been investigating his gaming habits since 2014.

The government issued a warning to the 32-year-old on his illegal gambling habits. But Jin-woo refused to slow down, betting over $3 million at online casinos. He then asked his stepfather to lie to authorities for him.

The Seoul Northern District Court sentenced Jung to one in in prison, noting how he tried to cover up his internet gambling through illicit means.

South Koreans are Banned from Gaming

south-korea-gamblingSouth Korea has no tolerance for gambling, banning all of their residents from the activity. The Koreans have a conservative society in comparison to the world and view gaming as an evil.

The country does have casinos, but only foreign visitors are allowed to gamble in them. Any Korean caught in a casino, or violating the anti-gaming laws faces stiff penalties.

Jung Becomes an Example

Although Jung Jin-wood still had plenty of fans from his K-pop Star appearance, he didn’t have enough celebrity sway to evade local laws. In fact, the Korean government may have wanted to make an example out of Jung and show that celebrities aren’t above the law.

Not even the United States – which has tough online gaming laws – has sent anybody to jail for the sheer act of internet betting. But Korea takes this to a new level by putting a celebrity in jail for one year.

That said, this should act as a deterrent for any Koreans who are thinking of playing online casino games.

 

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