Yang Hyun-Suk and Seungri Officially Booked On Gambling Charges

Both Yang Hyun-Suk and Seungri reportedly gambled away millions in casinos around the world

By E! Asia Staff 15 Aug, 2019 6:50 AMTags
Yang Hyun-Suk, SeungriGetty Images

On 14 August, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency held a press conference in which a representative announced that ex-CEO of YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun-suk and former Big Bang member, Seungri have been booked on suspicions of habitual gambling and gambling abroad. 

In South Korea, there are anti-gambling laws that forbid the act of gambling even if it is done in a country where gambling is legal. If someone is caught gambling overseas, depending on the amount of money and frequency of gambling, there is a chance that the person is let off with a warning.

However, as Yang and Seungri reportedly gambled with large sums of money at the VIP rooms of casinos, this violates the Korean anti-gambling laws that are currently in place. 

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Suspicions of Yang and Seungri's gambling activities came to light when South Korean tabloid, Dispatch, reported on 7 August that Yang allegedly visited the VIP room at the MGM Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. This report then led to suspicions of illegal foreign exchange transactions as Yang had reportedly gambled large sums of money at the aforementioned casino. As soon as Dispatch's report surfaced, the police announced that they will be investigating these allegations. 

The next day, on 8 August, more reports from local news outlets such as JTBC's Newsroom came out stating that Yang visited the VIP room at the MGM Hotel Casino at least 11 times and that in order to attain the VIP status, one would have to make a deposit of at least $1.2 million. They also reported that Seungri has visited that same VIP room four times. 

Through the JTBC's Newsroom report, it was revealed that the police had received an internal tip to look through Yang's financial accounts in April 2019. Since then, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has launched an internal investigation of Yang's accounts and found that he reportedly bet over 1 billion won (approximately $827,300) and lost around 600 million won (approximately $496,200) of that sum. The police also stated that they found that Seungri bet 2 billion won (approximately $1,654,000) and lost about 1.3 billion won (approximately $1,075,700) in total. 

"We are reviewing the possibility of booking them on the additional charge of violating the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act," the police stated during the press conference held on 14 August.

When asked about Yang and Seungri's previous charges of alleged prostitution mediation, the police responded with, "There are conflicting testimonies regarding the suspicions of prostitution mediation, so we are continuing to investigate."

The story is still developing.