Seoul’s New Foreigner Only Off-Track Betting Lounge

By in Asia, expat, Seoul, South Korea, sponsor, things to do in Seoul
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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.

Off-track betting lounge at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill. Lets Run CCC. The Nerdventurists.

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.

Off-track betting lounge at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill. Lets Run CCC. The Nerdventurists.

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.

Off-track betting lounge at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill. Lets Run CCC. The Nerdventurists.

I didn’t.

My failed voucher. Womp womp.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.

Off-track betting lounge at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill. Lets Run CCC. The Nerdventurists.

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?

Off-track betting lounge at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill. Lets Run CCC. The Nerdventurists.

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


Kristina is an ardent traveler and has been to over 48 countries and has no plans to stop. She taught English in a small fishing city in Japan for a year, volunteered on an archaeological dig on an Iron Age site in Israel, drove 10,000 miles in a 1994 Corsa from London to Ulaanbataar for charity, and accidentally fell in love with K-pop in Seoul. It’s been a wild ride.
    1. Reply

      Hehe thanks for reading!

  1. Reply

    Although I am not much into horseracing, I am into wine and getting all fancy. Loved to hear that they proved a pamphlet within info on what to look for in a winning horse. I just thought you decide based on the name or number ha ha. The Sheraton Grande Walkerhill looks very comfortable and would be a fun place to hang out with some other bloggers.

    1. Reply

      I was surprised too! Apparently the shape of the horse’s tail is a big indicator; who knew? Really lovely place though, I recommend it!

  2. Reply

    Looks awesome! I’m defo visiting soon with my girlfriend!!

    1. Reply

      Fantastic! Hope you have fun 🙂

  3. Reply

    Really cool! What a fun like niche activity to do if I’m ever in Seoul.

    1. Reply

      Indeed! Thanks for reading!

  4. Reply

    Not a big gambler but it was interesting to read about this and the types of things that are being implemented these days. I could imagine hanging out here though, all dressed up and having a good drink and a chat with friends.

    1. Reply

      The atmosphere is rather nice, it’s perfect for that sort of thing!

  5. Reply

    I’m always up for trying something new and like you have never been horse racing before (well like you before this post.) I may have to give this a go when I visit Seoul.

    1. Reply

      Definitely do! If anything it was a fun learning experience 🙂

  6. Reply

    the place looks cozy and great idea too for a co working space. I’ve never been to Korea and would love to visit this place this someday.

    1. Reply

      Hopefully you’ll be able to!

  7. Luckily for me I have a horse track an hour and a half from where I live so its been fun going. I’ve never had to do off track betting. It seems very stressful especially in another country!

    1. Reply

      Haha, it wasn’t too bad. The multilingual staff REALLY helped. I was super confused, but everything was explained nice and easily. But I can see how it can be super intimidating.

  8. Reply

    I have never been to a horse race before but my home town has a dog race stadium that race 3 times a week. I have been there once and I really enjoyed it, specially because you can bet as low as £1, so you can enjoy the adrenaline without spending too much money.

    1. Reply

      That’s what I like, not having to make big bets or anything. Keeps things fun and low stress, haha. Also good for my wallet.

  9. Reply

    Not a fan of horse racing, but this place looks inviting!

    1. Reply

      I wasn’t sure if I’d like horse racing really, but the facilities are super lovely.

    • Ann
    • June 24, 2016

    Interesting marketing, not just foreign friendly but foreign only. Does this have something to do with laws on betting? Looks like a lovely place to spend an afternoon.

    1. Reply

      No, nothing to do with laws, they just wanted to target a specific market I think; attract more foreign customers and visitors. It was very lovely indeed!

  10. Reply

    How fun! I’ve been to a few horse races in the UK and it’s always a blast – great spot to watch them 🙂

    1. Reply

      It was definitely quite exciting!

  11. Pingback: Between The Sheets: Sheraton Grande Walkerhill – The Nerdventurists

    • Tony
    • July 20, 2016

    went here last week for the first time and was absolutely blown away by the atmosphere and professionalism of the staff. In the words of Arnold, “I’ll Be back”…..Friday lol

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