The Korea Racing Authority (KRA) has decided to stop offering a special lounge for overseas visitors to watch the races at Seoul Race Park. The popular “Foreigners’ Lounge”, arguably the best facility of its kind at any racetrack anywhere, provided seating, English racecards and translation services in English, Japanese and Chinese all free of charge. However, it is to close with immediate effect.
An information desk manned by English and Japanese speaking staff will continue to operate but there will no longer be a reserved seating area with the current lounge opened up to all racegoers from this coming Saturday.
The decision means that a trip to the races will become a far less attractive proposition for overseas visitors to Korea. With nowhere to sit, except in the smoke-bound outside area of the grandstand, there will be little to recommend to the casual visitor.
The KRA did not respond to email requests for comment for the reasons behind the decision.
It’s not been a good week for the KRA’s “internationalization”. While their English langauge results service has been a positive development, it erroneously reported that Triple Sinhwa won the KRA Cup Mile at Busan last weekend. The reason for this was that the actual winner of the race, Money Car, is from Seoul and therefore not on the system that they use to generate the Busan results. They fixed this but evidently too well – the KRA’s official website now shows that Money Car won every single race at both Seoul and Busan this past weekend:
He’s good, but not that good.