Kangwon Land Gambler Loses $7K, Sets Fire to Hotel Room

South Korean police have arrested an unnamed Chinese national on suspicion of setting his hotel room on fire at the Kangwon Land Casino in the country’s Gangwon Province.

Kangwon Land, fire, arson
An image taken from the room on 14th floor of the Kangwon Land casino after a disgruntled gambler poured kerosene on the bed and set it alight. (Image: Yonhap News)

The suspect, in his fifties, told authorities that he set the blaze “in a fit of anger” on Thursday because he had lost a lot of money at the casino. The man is believed to have lost the equivalent of about US$7.2K, according to local news reports.

The fire started around 2: 30am on the 14th floor of the hotel. Miraculously, there were no fatalities, and hotel sprinklers were able to extinguish the blaze within 10 minutes. However, six people had to be taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The consequences could have been much worse, given the time of the incident, police said.

Guests Evacuated

According to fire authorities, the interior of the room was completely burned out, causing around 3 million won ($2,100) in damage. A large number of guests were evacuated from their hotel rooms until the morning of the next day.

The suspect was apprehended around five hours after he started the fire “in a nearby building,” according to police. Investigators were able to trace his movements through security cameras that initially caught him sprinting out of the room.

Police also have footage of the man purchasing 7.4 liters of kerosene at a nearby gas station the previous day. Fire officials believe he poured the combustible fluid onto two spots on one of the beds before setting it alight.

The suspect has been charged with arson. A judge ordered him to remain in detention Thursday because of the risk of flight or the destruction of evidence.

Locals Casino

Situated in remote uplands 80 miles from Seoul, the state-owned Kangwon Land is South Korea’s biggest casino. It is also the only casino in the country where South Koreans nationals are permitted to gamble. Scratch that. It’s the only place in the world – theoretically, at least — because citizens can be prosecuted at home for gambling abroad.

The casino recently announced a $1.58 billion expansion as it seeks to future proof against the emerging casino market in Japan. It also wants to attract more patrons from foreign countries – although maybe not the type who set fire to their bedrooms.

The post Kangwon Land Gambler Loses $7K, Sets Fire to Hotel Room appeared first on Casino.org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *