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Lottery sales rise 6.9 pct on-year in H1

All Headlines 12:00 August 31, 2016

SEJONG, Aug. 31 (Yonhap) -- Sales of lottery tickets in South Korea rose 6.9 percent in the first six months of 2016 from a year earlier, on rising demand for chance games amid a prolonged economic slump, government data showed Wednesday.

Lottery sales stood at 1.89 trillion won (US$1.69 billion) in the January-June period, up from the previous year's 1.77 trillion won, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

The first-half amount accounted for 50.3 percent of the 2016 sales target of 3.76 trillion won, added the ministry.

The increase was largely driven by strong demand for online lotteries, whose sales gained 8.2 percent on-year to hit 1.74 trillion won over the six-month period, the data showed.

Sales of offline lottery tickets fell 15.7 percent on-year to total 79.4 billion won, while pension lottery sales stood at 50.2 billion won, up 3.5 percent.

Analysts say the increase in lottery sales came as the economy has been mired in a protracted slump, with Asia's fourth-largest economy expected to expand just 2.8 percent in 2016.

It grew 2.6 percent on-year in 2015, down from a 3.3-percent expansion in 2014, due to falling exports and sluggish domestic demand.

brk@yna.co.kr
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