The Biggest Illegal Casinos in History

Aside from legal sites like, there are many illegal casinos happening all over the world, and though some are actually known about by the local authorities, some have already been prevented from continuing. Most recently in history, here are some of the largest illegal casinos that we know about that have been intervened by the police and the amount of money they have been drawing in.

South Korea, Seoul and Gangwon

At around 150 miles away from Seoul itself, Gangwon is the only district in South Korea where gambling is permitted, but there are many illegal, underground dens operating.  They are often very well covered up and have impressive fronts so as not to be discovered by the police, but sometimes the undercover police end up inside these illegal operations without anyone knowing.  In 2016, one of the largest illegal casinos was raided. 

Incredibly, it was thought that around 70% of all of Seoul’s illegal gambling was occurring through this one illegal casino system.  Between its development in 2011 and it being raided in 2016, the operating gang was thought to have made a profit of around $25 million.  Though they were not targeting high rollers, just people with a few dollars to spare here and there, this must have been a humongous amount of players to hide entering and exiting illegal premises for over 5 years.

Fall of the Soviet Union

When the Soviet Union fell, the Russians were enabled to gamble once more as one way in which their freedom was reintroduced.  It quickly became one of the most profitable industries in Russia, with an estimated value of $6 billion, but its quick success was scary and it soon became illegal.  It has been a lot harder to implement this in remote areas and the police have gone to great lengths to shut down illegal casinos, remove illegal slot machines, and to prosecute illegal gamers. 

But this did not happen quietly.  In the first six months after gambling was made illegal, over 600 people were prosecuted and this could be very physically severe, with people being reported as having witnessed automatic weaponry being used, underground casinos being blown up, and even officials being known to become corrupt.

On-going Issues

In 2016, it hit the headlines that a group of four men had formed a national gambling ring in America and this had become worth a staggering $1 billion.  Unfortunately, this was all based on illegal casino games and betting with the money made being passed through off-shore accounts in Costa Rice to keep it undercover.  Money was also laundered during flights between countries and in the buying of houses.

The biggest wagers created were the $927 million created through the 2015 NFL season, which can be divided into approximately $3.6 million for every game of basketball game played that season!  Although this ring was shut down four years ago, their sentences have still not been properly decided upon so we will have to watch this space to see what their punishments will be for their law-breaking, casino-based crimes.