Updated October. 06, 2012 03:51
A lawmaker raised suspicion Friday that Grand Korea Leisure, the operator of the foreigner-only casino chain Seven Luck and a subsidiary of the state-run Korea Tourism Organization, arranged sex tours in Korea for foreign tourists.
Saenuri Party Rep. Park Dae-chul, a member of the parliamentary committee on culture, sports, tourism, broadcasting and communication, said certain foreign customers of the leisure company spent nearly 1.17 billion won (1.06 million U.S. dollars) between August 2010 and August 2012 over 536 visits to YTT, Koreas largest room salon or hostess bar, located at Nonhyeon-dong in southern Seoul. The customers visited the bar every 1.36 days on average.
The leisure company provides comps (bonus points) to customers who bet an average of 200,000 won (180 dollars) and play games for at least six hours.
It is problematic that there were indications that the customers went to room salons to buy sex, which is illegal in Korea. The foreign customers spent an average of 2.19 million won (1,980 dollars) on each visit to YTT. According to Rep. Park`s office, the customers are highly likely to have sought prostitution considering the large amount of money spent at the bar and high percentages of service charges on the receipts. The leisure company classified the charges as customer lodging and dining.
A GLK source said, Honestly, it`s possible that the foreign customers were involved in prostitution at YTT, adding, In reality, however, we have no choice but to allow the practice to compete with privately owned casinos.
Last year alone, foreign tourists spent more than 2.92 billion won (2.6 million dollars) over 1,205 visits to 133 room salons in Seouls Gangnam district and Busans Haeundae area. GLK operates two casinos in Seoul and one in Busan.