Yang Hyun-suk, founder of Korean agency YG Entertainment, was fined 15 million won ($13,600) by a Seoul court for gambling several times in Las Vegas.
In a decision on Nov. 27, Judge Park Soo-hyun of the Seoul Western District Court imposed the fine on Yang. Two other co-accused were also fined 15 million won each while another was imposed a 10 million won ($9,000) fine.
The judge said that Yang’s behavior could have a negative on the general public and youth. The court said Yang and others gambled overseas for four years.
The four accused gambled in Las Vegas about 20 times from July 2015 to July 2019 and spent about 400 million won ($362,000), according to Yonhap News.
Under the law, Koreans are barred from gambling in their own country and overseas except at Kangwon Land Casino in Gangwon, South Korea.
The country’s Criminal Act law states that “a person who commits the offense of gambling shall be punished by a fine not exceeding ten million won [about $9,000]: Provided, That gambling for a mere pastime shall be exonerated from the punishment.”
Habitual gambling is punishable by imprisonment of up to three years or a fine up to 20 million won (about $18,000).
On June 14, 2019, Yang Hyun-suk stepped down from YG Entertainment, due to a controversy involving one of the company’s artists.
“I am so sorry for fans who love YG and its entertainers. I sincerely apologize to all our employees who have been working silently amidst these criticisms. In the last 23 years and half of my life, I have devoted everything to grow YG. I’m going to step down from all my positions and duties at YG today. I sincerely hope that there will be no more damage to the entertainers of YG that I love and all fans who love them because of me,” Yang said in a statement.
His brother, Yang Min-suk, YG Entertainment’s CEO, also quit the company, saying, “After deliberation under this situation, I decided to resign as the CEO of YG Entertainment, which I have been holding for a long time.”