Poker playing monks busted

Poker playing monks busted

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Six monks from South Korea's largest Buddhist order have resigned after being filmed drinking, smoking and playing in a high stakes poker game.

Leaders from the Jogye order have apologised after the footage emerged of the group doing things, that well, you just wouldn't expect a Buddhist monk to be doing. According to the Reuters news agency, the incident happened after a memorial service for a fellow monk, with one source saying that as much as $900,000 was wagered during a 13-hour session.

The footage, which was leaked just before a major Buddhist festival, has caused uproar amongst Korea's estimated 10m followers of the Jogye order.

"A group of monks who gamble, drink and smoke in a hotel room is tainted in the eyes of all people in the nation," civic group Buddhist Solidarity for Reform said in a statement.

Gambling in South Korea is only legal in licensed casinos and racetracks.

Tags: monks, religion, Korea