SOUTH KOREA – As reported by the Korea Times: “Pali, pali, hurry and rush comprise a dominant sentiment in Korean society, and this is one of the reasons 4.1 percent of the adult population is addicted to gambling. Two Seoul psychiatrists have pinned gambling on a nationwide urge to get rich quick and have begun to treat gambling addiction as an illness.
“Psychiatrist Shin Young-chul at the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital compares gambling addiction to a disease suffered, not just a bad habit endured.
“…Shin runs a gambling clinic on Saturdays from his office in the psychiatry department of the hospital. He started the clinic when he returned in 2000 from the University of Minnesota studying under Kim Won-suck, a leading figure in gambling addiction research. Shin has treated more than 300 gambling addicts and sees between 60 and 70 patients a year. His clinic is the only one of its kind in the country.
“Shin and Lee Hyung-si, a psychiatrist from the Korea Institute of Social Psychiatry, attribute gambling addiction to the nation’s economic climate and a temperament they say characterizes many Koreans.
“…A 1999 study of 700 adults found that 9.3 percent were addicted to horseracing. Other gambling pleasures here include bicycle racing, boat racing, Lotto, illegal game rooms and card games like baccarat, go-stop and poker. Since the only legal casino for Koreans, Kangwon Land, opened in 2000 in Chungsungun, Kangwon Province, the number of gambling addicts has steadily risen…”
STATE LOTTERY …