Top Korean TV Host a Loser
November 12, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — Kang Byung-kyu, a Korean baseball player who became a television celebrity through hosting the Korean TV show "Vitamine", is to be summonsed by local prosecutors to answer charges of illegal online gambling, reports the Korea Times and Joongang Ilbo.
The celebrity's manager has denied any wrongdoing on the part of his client, but prosecutors say they have sufficient evidence to proceed on the matter in court.
The case has its roots in the arrest of four Koreans who set up an Internet gambling operation in the Philippines that broadcast live baccarat games to Korean customers.
Prosecutors have claimed that Kang was one of 130 punters who were detected using the website, presumably from data captured on records seized during the arrest of the site operators earlier this year. Visitors to the site are alleged to have wagered money over the Internet, earning the four site operators KRW 100 billion over a period of 18 months before police closed their activities down.
Kang allegedly sent KRW 1.6 billion — around $1.2 million — to the site operator and was paid back Won 1.2 billion — a loss of 400 million won.
The celebrity has other problems to work through, reports the Korea Times. KBS, the network which screens Kang's "Vitamine" program, has announced that his appearance fee is too high, and that he is to be replaced with another presenter.