Actor Lee Min Ho was photographed at a New Zealand casino.
The actor was in New Zealand from February 6 to February 11 for a photo shoot for the outdoor brand Eider. In his down time, he visited a casino near Queenstown, where he was discovered by visiting Chinese fans, who snapped several photos and posted them on Weibo.
Lee Min Ho has recently been a subject of huge popularity in China. He was the first Korean celebrity to appear on China’s national channel CCTV’s New Year Gala where he received a lot of popularity votes, as well.
In New Zealand, the actor was captured on the plane, on the streets of Queenstown, and at the casino. On the streets of Queenstown, Lee Min Ho was photographed with two others, one male and one female, and at being discovered by someone who looked like Lee Min Ho’s manager, the photographer was restrained. From the photos taken, looks like the photographer managed at some point to even get Lee Min Ho’s autograph on his plane ticket.
On his visit to a casino, his agency explained that casinos in New Zealand are completely legal, and that the actor was there for sightseeing.
Star House Entertainment said, “After Lee Min Ho finished his shoot, he went sightseeing on the street, and then went to a gambling establishment. The place wasn’t a large scale professional casino, but was a completely legal place that doubled as a cafe and restaurant. It was a healthy play environment, and the concept of the games there were far from gambling. If there was any reason for doubt at entering the establishment, Lee Min Ho would not have entered without hesitation in a place with a lot of Asian tourists.” They added, “Casinos in the western world have a different cultural reception, and simply entering a casino is not seen as gambling.”
Since gambling, for the most part, is illegal in South Korea, it carries a negative connotation; thus, the need for Lee Min Ho’s agency to clarify his actions, even in other countries.