South Korea gaming tax revenue down 82.4% in 2020

South Korean casinos were deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic last year.
South Korean casinos were deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

South Korea’s government collected KRW81.8bn (US$70.5m) in tax revenue from the gaming industry in 2020.

South Korea.- South Korean authorities have reported that the collection of gaming taxes declined 82.4 per cent year-on-year in 2020 to KRW81.8bn (US$70.5m).

Tax revenue from Kangwon Land Inc plummeted 83.3 per cent from KRW357.8bn to KRW59.9bn in 2020.  However, that figure was twice as much as South Korea’s 16 foreigner-only casinos combined. Kangwon Land accounted for 14.8 per cent of the country’s 2020 gambling tax revenue.

Gaming tax revenue from the rest of the casinos declined 79.7 per cent to KRW21.9bn. South Korean casinos also need to make contributions to a number of funds. In 2020, such donations totalled KRW322.6m.

Kangwon Land alone contributed KRW268.7bn in fund donations during 2020, down 8.2 per cent year-on-year, while the contribution from foreign-only casinos was KRW53.9m, a decrease of 60.7 per cent.

South Korea’s overall tax revenue from gaming in 2020 was KRW404bn, a drop of 82.9 per cent when compared to KRW2.36tn in 2019.

South Korea’s gambling industry involves not only casinos and lotteries but also betting on horse racing, bicycle racing, boating and the local version of bullfighting, which puts two animals head-to-head. The horse racing segment contributed 62.8 per cent of South Korea’s gambling tax at just over KRW253.7tn.

In 2020 South Korean casinos received only 1,760,232 visits, down from 6,128,952 in 2019.

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