South Korea lottery sales reach record US$2.5bn in H1

A California Lottery will offer more than $116 million in draws to promote vaccination.
A California Lottery will offer more than $116 million in draws to promote vaccination.

The Korea Lottery Commission has reported that lottery sales for the first half of the year grew 12.6 per cent, setting a new record.

South Korea.- The Korea Lottery Commission has shared financial results for the first half of the year, reporting record lottery sales of US$2.5bn, up 12.6 per cent year-on-year.

According to Korea JoongAng Daily, lotto accounted for 86.5 per cent of all lottery tickets. However, there was a surge in pension-type lotteries that pay winners with annuities. In the first half of the year, sales of such lottery tickets reached 142.2 billion won, an increase of 66.4 per cent. 

This was the largest year-on-year H1 increase since this type of lottery ticket was launched in 2012.

A change in the runner-up prizes has also increased interest in the lottery. Previously, four runner-ups received a single bonus of 100 million won. This has changed to eight runners-up, who win 1 million won per month for 10 years.

South Korea gaming tax revenue down 82.4% in 2020

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.

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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