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South Korea's Gambling Markets Skyrocket

17 January 2003

SOUTH KOREA – As reported by the Chosun Ilbo: "The nation's gambling markets - horse racing, bike racing, casinos and lotteries - last year earned the central and provincial governments, which monopolize the markets, nearly W3 trillion (US$2.6 billion) in revenue, including taxes and surcharges. The figure is about a three-fold increase over that of the last four years.

"The Korea Institute of Public Finance (KIPF), a state think tank on taxation, said Friday that the total revenue for the four gambling markets reached W2.8 trillion US$2.4 billion) last year, up 24.9 percent over W2.24 trillion (US$1.9 billion) the previous year and about three-times the W985.8 billion (US$840 billion) earned in 1999.

"Dr. Kim Jung-hun of the KIPF said that it is common for other governments to spend their income from gambling on education and social welfare. The Korean government should study ways to rein in the side effects from the flourishing gambling markets, but at the same time, expand the revenue from gambling, Kim said…"

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