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Gambling addiction rises sharply due to economic plight: data

All News 14:53 April 13, 2017

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- The number of people diagnosed with a gambling addiction has increased sharply in recent years, official data showed Thursday, as the protracted economic slump is causing more South Koreans to make money through luck.

The figure rose 48.2 percent to 1,113 last year from 751 in 2014, according to the data released by the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service. The number was 925 in 2015.

By age, those in their 30s made up 37.2 percent, or 422, followed by those in their 20s at 32.5 percent, or 369. People in their 40s made up 13.7 percent of the total, at 155.

By gender, men accounted for 95.7 percent, or 1,065, and women a mere 4.3 percent, or 48.

The percentage of South Koreans who are gambling addicts, however, was estimated at 5.4 percent of the country's total population aged over 20 as of 2014, industry data said, translating to 2.07 million people.

The report said most people suffering from such addiction tend not to go to the hospital for fear of being branded a criminal as gambling is banned by law in South Korea except for at the Kangwon Land Casino in Jeongseon County, Gangwon Province.

It advised gambling addicts to consult doctors, saying, "Gambling addiction has a clear root cause and is a disease that can be cured."

Gambling addiction rises sharply due to economic plight: data - 1

hdh@yna.co.kr
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