The OTB Lounge in Walkerhill Has Hit Its Stride
A new no-limit off track betting lounge run by the Korea Racing Association (KRA), was recently opened in the Sheraton Grand Walkerhill Hotel and boy is it chic.
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This lounge specifically caters to foreign customers and allows them to bet more than the maximum per race bet limits that are enforced at the race courses and at other existing OTBs. This is one of thirty-two OTBs that are operated around Korea in addition to the actual race courses in Seoul, Busan and Jeju.
This past weekend, I along with some other cool expat bloggers (I don’t really consider myself all that cool) were invited to a blogger open house of the new venue. This OTB lounge is pretty lush and set in the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill made it even more appealing.
Location & Facilities:
The location of the Sheraton Grand Walkerhill Hotel may seem a bit out of the way being located in Gwangjin-gu on the east side of the city past Jamsil, but it really isn’t as out of the way as looking at a map makes it appear. From Mapo-gu to the Sheraton I made it driving in around 30 minutes. The OTB lounge is located on B1 of the hotel and the OTB lounge itself has a bit of a retro ambiance with large leather chairs surrounding small tables on the main floor. The space is surrounded with televisions with all of the info any horse bettor could want. Visitors can also find VIP rooms which have been given touches of far-away lands. The rooms have been given city names as titles including: Dubai, Paris, Sydney, New York, Tokyo and London. Each VIP room has slight touches to evoke what one would expect from those cities and are outfitted with chairs and couches and each room has a desk with staff available to easily place bets.
Within the facility is also a café and cafeteria, a smoking room and restrooms so one could easily spend hours or an entire day with friends inside placing bets and enjoying the experience of horse racing. The facility is new and clean and really has all of the amenities one would look for in a facility of this type.
The staff on hand was superb. They speak multiple languages and for those first time bettors like myself just hoping to have a fun experience, the staff can provide a pamphlet with information and will even sit down for 5 to 10 minutes to provide one-on-one instruction and tips. For those bettors that already know the ropes, it’s easy enough to walk right in and get started. The staff helps everyone get registered and receive a badge that will get you in and out as needed. There is staff to walk you through and introduce the layout to you as well as helpful staff to take your bets and pay out the winnings.
Highlights & Distractions:
To preface my reflections, I am not a horse racing aficionado and therefore didn’t have too many expectations heading into the OTB lounge at Walkerhill. I found the lounge and staff to be superb and the facilities clean and taken care of. I appreciated the help and information they provided immensely, even though I only walked away with W1,000 in the end. The drawback for me personally is that this is a foreign only establishment and coming from a multicultural family, that means that my husband wouldn’t be able to attend with me. This is also not a family-friendly establishment if your family members are under the age of 19.
That being said, this would be a great place to experience OTB with foreign friends in Korea. The Sheraton also has a pool and numerous high-end restaurants on the grounds so a whole day of fun in the sun, good food and betting could be had which make it an all around great experience.
Until June 30th, Let’s Run CCC. Walkerhill will be offering each guest W5,000 to start off the betting fun as well as free food and drinks in order to introduce the new facility to more people.
Take advantage of the offer and enjoy some time at the Sheraton Grand Walkerhill Off Track Betting Lounge.
Sheraton Grande Walkerhill
177, Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul
By subway: Take the subway line 2 to Gangbyeon Station, where you can use a hotel shuttle bus OR Take the subway line 5 to Gwangnaru Station,
where you can use a hotel shuttle bus.
Days: Fridays, Saturday & Sundays
Hours of Operation:
January – March: 9:00am ~ 6:30pm
April – June: Friday 11:00am ~ 7:30pm; Saturdays & Sundays 9:00am ~ 6:30pm
July – August: Fridays & Saturdays: 11:00am ~ 9:30pm; Sundays 9:00am ~ 6:30pm
September: Friday 11:00am ~ 7:30pm; Saturdays & Sundays: 9:00am ~ 6:30pm
October ~ December: 9:00am ~6:30pm