GooKingSword (CC0), Pixabay

Korean dramas have become increasingly popular outside of the Asian continent in recent years and that comes as no surprise to long-term fans of the genre. The high-quality production values, engaging storylines, and top-quality acting of Korean drama has helped to make Korean drama a hit in the US and Europe.

The newfound international popularity of the genre has opened up a series of interesting economic avenues for a range of industries. One such industry that could be poised to capitalize on the popularity of Korean drama is online gambling.

Over the course of the past 10 years, online gambling has successfully dipped its toe into a range of genres and sectors as a means of attracting new players and delighting existing customers. In this article, we will look at specifically how the online gambling industry could incorporate Korean drama to boosts its revenues.


As mentioned above the online gambling industry historically has not been averse to branching out into the realms of entertainment and media to boost its appeal to players. Almost every major film or TV show produced this side of the millennium has had a number of popular gambling games based on it.

Critically acclaimed fantasy TV show Game of Thrones for example inspired dozens of online slots games. Some officially licensed with real characters, animations, and music from the franchise, and others, shamelessly unlicensed.

This marketing strategy from the online gambling industry has proved incredibly effective over the years. So much so that the success of a franchise, a genre, or an entertainment sector can be judged on whether or not online gambling companies have chosen to portray them in their online slots.

The top gambling sites according to this site all have hundreds of slots based on popular culture, ranging from books and comics to film, music, and TV.

With Korean drama experiencing such a phenomenal rise in popularity over the past few years, especially in the US and Europe, it is the ideal candidate to be the next big thing portrayed in the online gambling world.

Which Shows Could be Portrayed?

The online gambling industry doesn’t mess about when it sets it sights on portraying a film or TV show from popular culture. There is no room for sentimentality from demanding gambling executives so only the most popular of Korean drama shows are likely to make their way to slots games.

Three of the most popular Korean dramas enjoyed by western audiences which could well find themselves featured on popular slots sites are:

Jewel in the Palace: This 2003 release based on the true story of Jang Geum who was the first female royal physician of the Joseon Dynasty was a huge success in South Korea when it was first released. However, it took a few years for the homegrown popularity of the film to catch on elsewhere.

Foreign audiences fell in love with Jewel in the Palace for its terrific portrayal of Korean culture and history. Despite being 17 years old it still remains one of the most-watched Korean dramas of all-time with international audiences.

Heirs: This production depicts the lives o a group of young, rich, and frivolous heirs led by Kim Tan who is played by Lee Min Ho. At its heart Heirs is a classic love story exploring the burgeoning relationship between Kim Tan and Eun Sang, just an ordinary person from a poor background.

The frivolity and excess of this show would make it the ideal candidate to be portrayed in an online slot game.

Goblin: The Lonely and Great God: Kim Eun Sook the writer behind the previously mentioned Heirs and the brilliant Descendants of the Sun excelled himself in writing this awesome drama. The show tells the story of Kim Shin, an immortal goblin who wishes for nothing more than to end his life and return to the dust.

The catch though is that he can only do that when he finds his true Goblin Bride. The drama makes for a fun and intense viewing experience at the same time and has many themes, characters and icons that could be easily transferred to a popular online slot game.

Would Being Portrayed in Online Gambling Games Benefit Korean Drama?

The most recent industry figures available show that 18 million Americans viewed Korean drama in 2019 alone. Whilst that figure may be cause for celebration amongst Korean drama writers and actors it is still a fairly low number.

To truly take off in the US and become a mainstay of the entertainment scene those viewing figures really need to double. Online gambling could provide the perfect avenue for K-drama to market itself to the masses in the US.

Every year around 82.5 million Americans log on to their favorite online gambling sites and play slots or travel to their nearest land-based casino to spin the reels. That is a massive market of potential K-drama fans that could be tapped by a series of online slots collaborations.

Whilst gambling may be taboo in South Korea, it is an accepted part of daily life in the US and should be seen as a terrific opportunity for K-drama to boost its viewing figures. Regardless of what happens in the future though, the fact that online gambling companies are already looking at K-drama for potential collaborations shows how popular it is becoming around the world.