South Korea's gambling and lottery industry grew for the ninth year in a row in 2014, with total sales hitting more than 19.87 trillion won ($17.64 billion), the government said Wednesday.
According to official data, gambling-related sales grew 1 percent, or by 199.2 billion won, from 19.67 trillion won the year before. The gambling industry covers casinos, lotteries, horse, cycling and boat races and traditional bullfights.
The latest data, however, showed growth trailing in recent years.
In 2011, sales growth reached 5 percent on-year. It rose 6.5 percent in the following year before stopping at a 0.6 percent increase in 2013.
For 2015, government officials expect the size of the industry will top 20 trillion won, mainly from a rise in demand for lotteries and casinos.
Sales of various lottery tickets and sports betting exceeded 3.28 trillion won each, up 1.4 percent and 6.5 percent, from the year before.
Revenue earned by Kangwon Land, the only local casino open to Korean nationals, jumped 10 percent on-year to 1.4 trillion won in 2014, while that at foreigners-only casinos increased 0.3 percent to 1.36 trillion won. The modest gain by foreigners' casinos comes after China started enforcing anti-corruption-related rules.
In contract, horse race betting contracted 0.7 percent to 7.64 trillion won, with sales for cycling and boat races all falling for the third straight year. (Yonhap)