Man Sets Fire to Casino Hotel Room after Losing $7K

A Chinese man was arrested in South Korea last week after setting fire to his casino hotel room in anger at his gambling losses. 

The man, in his 50s, was detained by authorities at Jeongseon Police Station, according to the Korea Herald. There, he admitted setting fire to a 14th floor hotel room at the Kangwon Land Casino (pictured) in Gangwon Province.

The suspect left the scene of the fire on the night of Thursday, July 4. Police caught him four hours later hiding out in a nearby building. He told them he started the blaze because he was angry at losing the equivalent of $7.2K at the casino.

The fire did not spread or cause any casualties, as it was put out by the hotel’s automated sprinklers. However, six guests had to be treated for minor smoke inhalation problems, and the fire caused some $2,000 worth of damage to the room. 

The Fire

The incident began at 2:30 a.m. on Thursday. Police believe the unnamed man poured seven liters of gasoline on the hotel room’s bed before starting the blaze using a cigarette lighter. 

Investigators tracked the man down after he fled, using CCTV footage from the casino. They also looked at footage from a local gas station near to the casino in Sabuk Ri, around 80 miles away from Seoul. That’s where they saw the man had, a day prior, purchased the jerry can of gas that he used to light the fire. 

The man admitted setting the fire once police apprehended him on Thursday morning. He was then charged with arson, and a judge ordered him detained without bail, as he was deemed a flight risk.

Kangwon Land is South Korea’s biggest casino. That’s possibly because it’s the only one where native South Koreans are allowed to gamble. 

The country’s strict gambling laws even prevent its citizens from gambling abroad, and authorities aren’t afraid to prosecute. Several high profile South Koreans have found out over the years 

Angry Gamblers 

A sore loser behaving badly after dropping money in a gambling session is, as you might think, not an uncommon occurrence at gambling establishments globally. 

In May 2024, one man was arrested at Delaware Park Casino in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, after starting a serious fight on the casino floor because he lost at a poker game. Tavon White was charged with felony assault and criminal mischief over the incident. 

Sometimes, though, the only victim is the player themselves. Earlier this year, an Australian man jumped to his death from a cruise ship in Sydney harbor after racking up gambling debts at the vessel’s onboard casino.

© Copyright 2024 -