The long-planned OTB exclusively for foreign customers has now been established at the Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel & Casino in Eastern Seoul. Crucially the facility offers foreign citizens the opportunity to bet more into the Korean pools than the maximum per race bet limits that are in force at the racecourses and existing OTBS.
In addition to the three racecourses at Seoul, Busan and Jeju, the Korea Racing Authority already operates 30 off track betting centres across the country. Formerly called KRA Plazas, they were rebranded as LetsRun CCC in 2014 (CCC standing for Culture Convenience Center ). Along with the rebranding, a full scale renovation program has been rolled out across the branches, turning the majority into assigned seating venues with various levels of pricing and comfort.
While this has significantly reduced attendance at some venues – such as Yongsan in Seoul which remains the scene of local resident and church group protests since its relocation – turnover has actually increased with the nicer environment being more conducive for betting.
Additionally, as the name suggests, further emphasis has been placed on the community uses the facilities are put to on non-race days. However, one thing the OTBs, be they plazas or CCCs, have never been is especially welcoming towards foreign visitors; this blog has heard plenty of tales about curious foreign visitors and those simply wanting to have a bit of a punt, of being turned away by suspicious security guards.
Now no longer and most importantly, with it being a partnership with the Walkerhill, whose foreigner-only casino comes under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism rather than the Ministry of Agriculture, the new facility at the Walkerhill Hotel & Casino complex will allow foreign punters to choose how much they wish to bet on each race rather than being bound by the strict 100,000 won limit that Korean bettors are subject to. Foreign visitors to the racecourses and other OTBs will still be bound by the same per race limits as locals.
The facility is in the Walkerhill Hotel & Casino Complex at Achasan in eastern Seoul near Gwangnaru Station on subway line 5. It will be open on racedays for betting on racing from Seoul, Busan and Jeju. The CCC comprises a general seating area as well as private rooms and a cafeteria. Memberships are available. For more information see the website.