When I was invited to go check out some off track horse racing betting facilities that had just opened up, my mind sort of froze. I had never been to a horse race before, I had never bet on anything other than the clunky slot machines at a resort’s casino; I had no idea what it even entailed. So as I joined other Korean expat bloggers at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill one cloudy afternoon, I had literally no idea what to expect. Tucked away in the mountains just a stone’s throw from Jamsil, the hotel was immediately beautiful and lush and any pre-conception of grimy betting rooms with grumpy old men in stained t-shirts shouting at the television were immediately wiped away.
This was nice.
The foreigner only off-track betting lounge is a beautiful new facility with plush chairs and seating for forty, multiple televisions detailing every race and the horses that were running them, a wonderful and quaint cafe with free beverages and food, and an amazingly helpful staff. With the ability to speak multiple languages and the patience of saints, the staff will answer any and all questions about the races, making a bet, or what caffeinated beverage you may want. They’re extremely helpful and I must commend them for being both attentive and letting us be.
Having never bet on a horse race (or honestly ever watched one), I found it particularly helpful the amount of information that is available for the newbie. I was supplied with not only a pamphlet detailing what to look for in a winning horse, but one that also explained the types of bets to make and how to make them. Whether you’re an old pro or completely new, you’ll be able to easily enjoy yourself here. There’s no stress, other than wondering if you’ll win the next bet of course.
The OTB lounge at Walkerhill is quiet and serene, even when the race begin and you can see your money galloping away as your chosen steed fails to win. To me, this was a plus, as I quite like the calm sort of places where i can enjoy myself. But if you’re looking for something more livelier, don’t despair, as the lounge is brand new and thus a work in progress. More events and gatherings will be planned in the future and are sure to bring a bright clientele that’ll make well use of their day at the races.
In addition to the large main space, there are private VIP rooms, themed to various cities around the world. Should you desire them, they’re available to anyone, provided you reserve the room ahead of time.
Until June 30th, Let’s Run CCC. Walkerhill will be offering free admission and food as part of their grand opening. Gourmet coffee and beverages will always be free and a 5,000 Won betting voucher will be provided until December of this year. Free money! So why don’t you treat yourself to something a little different, or perhaps jump back into an old hobby you thought you left back at the Kentucky Derby?
The Off Track Betting Lounge at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill is located at 177, Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul. The hotel shuttle bus is accessible by Line 2 (Gangbyeon Station) and Line 5 (Gwangnaru Station).
The lounge is open Fridays, Saturday & Sundays
Hours of Operation:
January – March: Friday, Saturdays & Sundays 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: Friday, Saturdays & Sundays 9:00am ~6:30pm