South Korea: ban on nighttime online gambling will be lifted

Ten years ago, South Korea banned nighttime online games for children. Now it is authorized again. This is part of the planned revision of the Youth Protection Act. Until now, game providers have had to ensure that children under the age of 16 do not use online games between midnight and 6 a.m. The new regulations aim to give more responsibilities to legal guardians and to the children themselves.

The original goal of the program was to prevent play in children and to ensure that young people get enough sleep. It also affected individual games. Due to the law in South Korea, Microsoft did not release the game Minecraft, which is particularly popular with young people around the world, until the age of 17. This means that children have to switch to alternative gaming accounts, for example one of their parents. It undermines the objective of the law.

Currently, game providers that allow children to play online at night face fines of up to 10 million won (the equivalent of $ 7,250) or up to two years in prison. Only China has stricter child protection laws, as players under the age of 18 are not allowed to play online between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. The rest of the day, only 90 minutes of play on weekdays and three hours on weekends and holidays are allowed in the People’s Republic.

Online games for children in South Korea are not completely free of rights. The “selection system”, put in place in 2012 to fight against gambling addiction among young people, must remain in place, as the ministries of Culture, Sports and Tourism did this week as well as Gender and Family Equality. according to the newspaper Herald of Korea announced.

In the selection system for Koreans under 18, parents and guardians can set special times for children to play. According to the Ministry of Culture, the use of the selection system for 40 games from seven game companies is between 1 and 28%. The revised Youth Protection Act is expected to be adopted before the end of the year.


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