By Park Si-soo
Popular entertainer Shin Jung-hwan was sentenced to eight months in prison for illegal gambling, a court said Friday. He was taken to a prison immediately after the ruling.
The singer-turned-TV personality was indicted last year on charges of betting more than 200 million won ($185,000) at a casino in Cebu.
"A harsh punishment is unavoidable since this is the third act of illegal gambling he committed," said Judge Lee Jong-un at the Seoul Central District Court. "He visited the casino upon arrival in Cebu. He lost all his money but continued gambling after borrowing more money there. He even skipped the recording of a TV program in Seoul, which is obviously evidence that he was addicted to gambling."
The judge said he mitigated the sentence after taking into account that Shin has felt remorse for the wrongdoing and sustained a leg injury. The 37-year-old Shin was fined for illegal gambling in 2003 and 2005.