SEJONG, Feb. 4 (Yonhap) – Sales of lottery tickets in South Korea soared to a 12-year high in 2015 on robust demand for online lotteries, government data showed Thursday, amid a prolonged economic slump.
Lottery sales stood at 3.56 trillion won (US$2.96 billion) last year, up 8.3 percent from the previous year’s 3.29 trillion won, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.
The amount marked the largest since 2003, when sales reached 4.2 trillion won following the introduction of the online lottery game “Lotto,” the ministry added.
The lottery sales value accounted for 0.23 percent of the country’s total gross domestic product last year, up 0.01 percentage point from a year earlier.
The increase was largely driven by strong demand for online lotteries, whose sales gained 6.8 percent on-year to hit 3.26 trillion won last year, the data showed.
Sales of offline lottery tickets totaled 169.7 billion won, while pension lottery sales stood at 96.4 billion won.
The jump in lottery sales came as the economy was mired in a slump last year. Asia’s fourth-largest economy grew 2.6 percent on-year in 2015, down from a 3.3 percent expansion in 2014, hit by falling exports and sluggish domestic demand.’