Gambling laws are forever changing for widespread regions or smaller state by state regulations, and it’s an entire country that we look at today as North Korea opens its arms, or wallets, to local horse racing betting to its residents.
Now believe or not, North Korea has different laws and application to many things from the menial acts to the serious ones, and gambling itself was one of those that was treated with quite a degree of severity in previous times – anyone who was caught and then convicted of gambling faced up to 3 years in jail.
Gambling is one of those industries that can and will generate hard cash, revenue, when done right and controlled – especially if that activity is regulated and controlled meaning that the revenue, all of it, will be seen as beneficial to the country as it’s all operated within its borders and not going elsewhere with international operators taking home the gold.
The “opening of the doors” as it were to legalized track and racing gambling is seen as a ways and means of doing just that – to generate that cold, hard cash for the country as they are cut off in many ways from the rest of the world for trade or income.
Kim Jong Un has built a plethora of different industry specific projects recently like swimming pools, gyms, holiday resorts and much more luxurious destinations which does seem, from the outside looking in, as a direct attempt to defer private business to his developments. The generation of turnover these private entities is high and his thoughts must be that getting involved in these provisions of goods, services and other elements is only going to open up the country to take some of this business and help more with their specific income.
Gambling at racing tracks is popular with hundreds of people standing as onlookers as the races take place – the gambling side itself is not the same gambling as you’d maybe be familiar with, as those as young as 12 can take part in it – it is more raffle-like system gambling and less “harsh” then the rigours of modern day bet placement and gambling availability.
Some of these race meetings that kickstarted this new allowance took place at one of Jong Uns own leisure facilities and its widely believed that there’s multiple sides of the venture that are profiting from its allowance and subjected availability again due to the racegoers spending money elsewhere at the facility iself.
Naturally you have to look past the animosity or dislike for the person at the helm and look at the benefits it has for the people of North Korea who, in turn, will prosper from the almost guaranteed income this will make – and this has all come from Jong Un’s own pursuit of leisure reports and other perhaps “vanity projects”.
The Miriam riding club was the destination, it has an indoor training facility, 7 outdoor riding courses, a pavilion, restaurants and a sauna. It also has 120 horses including 67 Orlov Trotters from Russia. The club is located in Pyongyang which itself has been the home of a casino targeted to foreigners for a number of years.
It’s definitely an interesting change in law and even more interesting to see how this impacts the North Korean finances and grows locally and, perhaps, grows and welcomes an international flavour.