Lottery, casino and horse racing revenues in South Korea expanded sharply in 2016 despite a long-lasting economic slowdown, local media reports.
Sales of lottery tickets rose 9.3 percent year-on-year to KRW 3.9 trillion, while Kangwon Land, the country’s only local-permitted casino saw KRW1.7 trillion in sales, up 3.8 percent year-on-year.
The Korea Racing Authority saw revenues up 0.2 percent to KRW 7.7 trillion in the year, while the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation saw cycling race sales gain 1.7 percent on-year to KRW 1.9 trillion.
Sales from foreigner casinos stood at KRW 20.5 trillion, surpassing the KRW 20 trillion mark for the first time.
According to Yonhap News, experts noted that people tend to turn to speculative games during economic downturns.
“Due to economic depression, people tend to dream of making a fortune at one stroke,” said Kwak Geum-joo, a psychology professor at Seoul National University. “It is necessary to boost social mobility in order to reduce such sentiments.”