Kim Joon-ho’s and Cha Tae-hyun’s Gambling Scandal
The Korean entertainment industry has been facing many controversies involving their artists. One of the largest recent scandals is about Jung Joon-young’s hidden camera. Several artists have even been dragged into the scandal without being certain if they were really involved or not. Netizens kept guessing the other artists involved in the group chat and demanded the police and media to release the names and chatroom photos. But who knew that the big scandal could lead to another? During the investigation of Jung Joon-young’s scandal through his phone, it was revealed that his fellow cast members from 2 Days & 1 Night program were involved in a gambling scandal. In this article, Channel-Korea will provide you with a complete rundown of the details surrounding the two artists’ gambling scandal.
The Scandal of Jung Joon-young
It all started from Jung Joon-young’s scandal that made his phone being investigated. He was previously reported to have been involved with Seungri’s group chat with other celebrities and had shared illegal hidden camera footage several times on March 11th, 2019. He had been called to be investigated regarding the allegation and admitted his crimes two days after. During that time, SBS FunE released some screenshots of the group and individual conversations on Kakaotalk. On March 16th, 2019, KBS 1TV’s 9 O’Clock News revealed a chatroom of Kim Joon-ho’s and Cha Tae-hyun’s dating back from July 2016, that had been retrieved from Jung Joon-young’s phone. Back then, the three of them were still cast members of the same program 1 Night 2 Days. The chat also revealed that Kim Joon-ho and Cha Tae-hyun were involved in gambling with a huge amount of money on a golf game. You can see the chatroom photo below.
As cited by Koreaboo, on July 1st, 2016, Cha Tae-hyun sent a picture of money saying, “In just 2 hours, I’ve become rich.” To which Jung Joon-young replied, “Our Joon-ho hyung doesn’t have moneyㅠ.” And then Cha Tae-hyun again replied, “He was almost reported, he would’ve been in handcuffs.”
Later in the same month, on July 19th, Cha Tae-hyun sent another picture of money to Jung Joon-young and said, “Today, Jun Ho hyung made 2.6 million won [approximately 2,293 USD]… I won 2.25 million [approximately 1,984 USD], this is my money [I won].”
Withdrawal From Television Appearances
Not long after the chatroom had been released, Cha Tae-hyun responded regarding his scandal and wrote an apology letter along with an announcement of his departure from all the variety shows, including 2 Days & 1 Night. As cited by Koreaboo, in his letter, he apologized and clarified that he did not play golf overseas as has been reported but merely played between his friends in the country. He said that he returned the money immediately. “Although it was something we did for fun, when I saw my messages in the group chat, I felt very ashamed,” he said. He thought that as a public figure, his actions were unacceptable. He then apologized to his fans especially, who loved the TV program 2 Days & 1 Night and the other cast members that were affected by his action. He continued that he would step down from all of his programs. “As a father, I am extremely sorry to my children and my family. I will take time to reflect on my own actions. I apologize,” he ended.
Following Cha Tae-hyun’s sudden announcement, as cited by Soompi, Kim Joon-ho also made an official statement through his agency, JDB Entertainment. He first apologized for causing disappointment and concerns to many people. Then, just like Cha Tae-hyun, he clarified about the golf-gambling scandal and said that it was just to make the game more entertaining and that they returned the money immediately to the owner after the game was over. “As a public figure, and as the big brother of 2 Days & 1 Night, I should have set a good example, and I am deeply repenting on the fact that I was not able to do so. I fully realize that I am responsible for this issue and have decided to step down from all of my programs,” he continued. He hoped that there would be no misunderstanding to his younger colleagues that had been working hard for the program. He ended the statement by apologizing once again. Meanwhile, two of his programs, KBS2’s Gag Concert and tvN’s Seoulmate stated that they would edit Kim Joon-ho out from the programs before being broadcasted.
Questioned by the Police
On April 11th, 2019, according to Special Detective Division of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, Kim Joon-ho and Cha Tae-hyun had been called for an investigation as witnesses. The police confirmed that both of them had played golf for two consecutive times in 2016 and plan to investigate further whether the activities should be counted as gambling.
In addition, comedian Kim Joon-ho had previously been involved in a gambling scandal in 2009. It was when he was still a cast of the famous Gag Concert’s skit, A Bitter Life. The scandal caused him to stay low and stop all of his TV appearances for around 7 months. His role in A Bitter Life was replaced by Kim Dae-hui. He later returned in March 2010 in the same program Gag Concert.
In South Korea, gambling is considered as one of the serious crimes using money in a large amount. Golf gambling is the most common and is considered illegal in South Korea. If charged, a person can be fined up to 10 million won (approximately 8,400 USD) and the penalty can be increased up to 20 million won (approximately 16,800 USD) with imprisonment up to 3 years. The location of the gambling will not be the matter because of South Korea’s nationality principle. Therefore, even though someone gambles in a country where it is legally allowed to gamble, as long as he/she is South Korean, he/she will be punished.
The news about the involvement of Cha Tae-hyun and Kim Joon-ho in a gambling scandal that led to their withdrawal from the current TV programs sure was shocking to all people. However, it did not impress the Korean netizens as they thought that the gambling scandal was just a diversion from the real issues (referring to Jang Ja-yeon’s rape case, Seungri’s Burning Sun and Jung Joon-young’s scandal and political issues). Some of them even regretted the departure of the two artists.
As translated by Allkpop and netizendrama.com, here are some of the netizens’ comments on several news sites:
- “I don’t really care what they do with their own money. Aren’t there any bigger problems right now…?”
- “I’m not saying Cha Tae-hyun’s betting is a good thing, but why does it feel like the focus is being turned away?”
- “Jung Joon-young’s phone was confiscated to investigate the distribution of illegal videos, prostitution, and his ties to the police, but why is something like this, which is unrelated, being distributed? Even in court, when something unrelated comes out, even if it’s illegal, they are not questioned and are kept in secret. Is this really something for the 9 o’clock news to handle? Is all the media can do talk about golf betting? What a disappointment.”
- “I don’t get what the problem is. Is it a crime to bet on a game of golf with your friends…?”
- “Is it really necessary for him to leave like this?”
- “Don’t distract people’s attention from a serious issue. Now you’re just writing an article based on a rumor.”
- “It’s not a big deal, don’t set people up~ I thought it was gambling with billions.”
- “Don’t all golf players bet? It’s not even billion-won gambling, you are just trying to distract people.”
- “They did it between each other, what’s the problem?”
- “This is a distraction from the serious issue. Don’t get deceived. Investigate Jang Ja-yeon, Kim Hak-eui, and Burning Sun’s cases.”
What do you think about the gambling scandal? Leave your comment in the section below!