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South Korea’s gambling revenue nears $18bn in 2016

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SouthKoreaSeoul
eases in gaming and lottery sales of 7.7% for 2016 saw South Korea’s gambling industry generate a total of KRW 20.3tn ($17.6bn), according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

The figure incorporates revenue generated by lottery, betting and casino gambling, but excludes the proceeds generated by the jurisdiction’s foreigner-only casinos.

Lottery ticket sales rose sharply, climbing 9.3% to a 13-year high of KRW 3.9tn, while state-run casino Kangwon Land, the only resort that accepts South Korean nationals, reported total sales of KRW 1.7tn, an increase of 3.8% on its results for 2015.

The Korea Racing Authority also posted revenue growth, generating KRW 7.7tn in 2016, representing a year-on-year increase of 0.2%.

The rise in gambling revenue against the backdrop of the country’s current economic downturn has been attributed to a growing number of people turning to speculative wagering.

Kwak Geum-joo, a Psychology Professor at Seoul National University, told Yonhap: “Due to economic depression, people tend to dream of making a fortune at one stroke.

“It is necessary to boost social mobility in order to reduce such sentiments.”

South Korea’s casino sector will receive an additional boost this year with the planned April 2017 opening of the Paradise City resort near Incheon Airport.

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