Combined sales in South Korea’s gaming and lottery sector – excluding foreigner-only casinos – increased by 7.7 percent in 2016 to KRW20.3 trillion (US$17.6 billion), according to market data quoted by South Korean news agency Yonhap.
The figure included sales from lottery, sports betting and from Kangwon Land (pictured), the only casino resort in South Korea where the country’s nationals are allowed to gamble.
Yonhap did not disclose the source for the market data.
Total gaming and lottery sector sales in South Korea – including foreigner-only casinos – stood at KRW20.5 trillion in 2015, according to the country’s National Gambling Control Commission. It was the first time such annual sales surpassed the KRW20-trillion mark, following consecutive year-on-year increases at least since 2007, the oldest available data in the commission’s website. In 2015, foreigner-only casinos posted total sales of KRW1.24 trillion, down by 9.7 percent in year-on-year terms.
Profit at Kangwon Land Inc, the operator of the Kangwon Land casino resort, rose by 2.9 percent year-on-year in 2016, according to a February company filing. It amounted to KRW454.59 billion, on total annual sales that were up 3.8 percent, to nearly KRW1.70 trillion.
South Korea currently has 17 casinos, with an 18th due to open in April in Incheon, near South Korea’s capital Seoul. At least two more large-scale gaming resorts – each featuring a foreigner-only casino – have been announced for Incheon. There are also several new foreigner-only casino projects announced for South Korea’s holiday island of Jeju.
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