South Korea’s legal gambling industry has been stagnating since 2006, according to a report from the Korea Leisure Industry and cited by local media.
It found that in 2013, revenue was 18.28 trillion won ($17.9 billion), almost the same level as in previous years. The study didn’t include the country’s foreigner-only casinos.
The fastest-growing segment was Sports Toto, which surged 75.5 percent, followed by Lotto up almost 31 percent. Revenue at Kangwon Land Casino, the only one in the country to allow locals, was up almost 11 percent.
The sale of lotteries rose 1.5 percent to 3.23 trillion won, of which the national lotto increased 5.3 percent to 2.98 trillion won. The ratio of lottery revenue to the total gambling industry was 17.7 percent, up 0.3 percentage points from a year ago.
The turnover of Kangwon Land went up 5.8 percent to 1.27 trillion won, helped by the addition of 400 slot machines.
South Korea’s foreigner-only casinos however report robust growth, fueled by Chinese visitors. “It’s a very positive growth trajectory,” said William Shen, Caesars Entertainment vice president of Asia Development said recently. Caesars, together with the Lippo Group, earlier this year became the first foreign corporation to win preliminary approval for a $805 million project on Yeongjong island under Seoul’s “pre-approval” process.