July 5, 2024 3 min read


Fact-checked by Stoyan Todorov

Gambler’s Fury Sparks Chaos at South Korea’s Kangwon Land Casino Hotel

The man confessed during interrogation that he purchased gasoline from a nearby gas station and subsequently used it with a lighter to set his room on fire following significant losses at the casino

In a stunning occurrence at the Kangwon Land Casino in Gangwon Province, South Korea, a Chinese national in his 50s was arrested for arson after reportedly setting fire to his hotel room following substantial gambling losses. The event took place early on the morning of July 4 when, as authorities suspect, the man lit the fire out of rage.

Arsonist’s Blaze Engulfs Gangwon Land Hotel Room

The fire started around 2:30 am on the 14th floor of Gangwon Land Hotel, reported The Korea Herald. Law enforcement officials from Jeongseon Police Station have said that the man admitted during questioning he bought gasoline from a nearby gas station and then used it and a lighter together to burn down his room after losing what the police described as an enormous sum at the casino

Surveillance footage from security cameras installed throughout the hotel helped identify the suspect who had been hiding in a guest house near the gambling facility for several hours following his alleged act.

Emergency responders arrived quickly enough so that within ten minutes sprinklers inside each affected area extinguished all flames completely. However, six guests staying one floor above suffered smoke inhalation and were treated with oxygen but did not require hospitalization.

There was significant damage done by this destructive event estimated at about KRW3 million ($2,173) because most of the interior of the room was burnt black due to the intense heat generated by such a large-scale fire. The incident also led to a sleepless night for many hotel guests, who were evacuated during the emergency response.

Arson at Kangwon Land Spurs Debate on Casino Safety and Regulation

Kangwon Land is notable for being South Korea’s only casino where locals are allowed to gamble alongside foreigners. Only a few establishments authorized by the government can engage in gambling because of strict regulations in the country. 

Authorities are still looking into the matter as more information is being gathered about the suspect’s actions leading up to and during the fire. The man continues to be held in custody on charges related to South Korea’s rigid fire prevention statutes.

This incident has sparked conversations regarding safety precautions taken at gambling establishments and mental health effects caused by financial failures resulting from bets made at such facilities.

The police often find themselves dealing with crimes like these because people who commit them typically have big debts that they need to repay. The South Korean authorities are likely to review current protocols to prevent similar occurrences in the future. As the investigation unfolds, further details are expected to shed light on the motivations and circumstances that led to this destructive act.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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