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Gambling Fever Hits South Korea

26 December 2001

SOUTH KOREA – Dec. 26, 2001 –As reported by the BBC: "South Korea may be feeling the pinch of recession, but with hard times looming, the country's gambling industry is cashing in.

"…Analysts say the economic downturn has driven South Koreans increasingly to pin their hopes on hitting the jackpot.

"…And as the country prepares to co-host the World Cup finals with Japan, football fever is expected to drive ever more people to take a punt.

"…Betting at the country's two state controlled horse race tracks rose by more than 25% in the first half of the year.

"…Tens of thousands of people meanwhile, flock to South Korea's first domestic casino, which opened late last year in a former coal-mining town.

"But much of the gambling still takes place illegally, still regarded by many as a social vice.

"But that has not prevented growing numbers from placing a bet, pursuing the ultimate dream of quick riches."

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