Investigation into club’s ‘Casino Night’ continuing
January 26, 2004
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Two investigations are continuing into reports of possible illegal gambling at a weekly “Casino Night” at the U.N. Command officers club, according to U.S. Forces Korea officials.
A Criminal Investigation Command probe is continuing, but further information cannot be released, according to a USFK spokeswoman.
The investigative command, commonly referred to as CID, didn’t indicate when that probe began.
Also continuing is an informal, administrative investigation called an AR 15-6, headed by a base military attorney.
Because the 15-6 is ongoing, it isn’t known who would make decisions based on the report’s finding, according to USFK.
South Korean prosecutors have indicted four people related to the “Casino Night.”
Two were charged with opening and running an illegal casino, prosecutors said. Some of the indicted are affiliated with the “World Cup” organized crime ring, prosecutors said.
“Casino Night,” run by contractor C.H. International, was shut down after a local newspaper photographed a South Korean lawmaker near a blackjack table.
Uri Party member Song Young-jin apologized, saying he gambled $14,000 at the officers club between September and October, and it was inappropriate for him to be there.
Tom Casey, a partner of C.H. International, maintains the operation was gaming, not gambling.
Players bought chips but could redeem winnings only for prizes or gift certificates, he said in October.
USFK maintains the company violated the terms of its contract for the gaming night in allowing unauthorized people access and exceeding the hours set for the event.
The contract was terminated, USFK officials said.
Right after it was shut down, USFK classified the operation as an “entertainment fund raiser only that did not involve playing to win money but only prizes.”
In exchange for hosting the gaming night, the U.N. officer’s mess received about $1,800 in rent.
In addition, C.H. International funded improvements to the deteriorating club, located on the U.N. Command compound near the Capital Hotel outside Yongsan Garrison’s south post.