SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- Lottery sales in South Korea rose 10.3 percent on-year to reach an all-time high last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Tuesday.
Sales of lottery tickets stood at 5.98 trillion won (US$5.02 billion) in 2021, compared with 5.42 trillion won the previous year, according to the data from the finance ministry.
The figure has been rising in recent years from 4.15 trillion won in 2017 to 4.38 trillion won in 2018 and further to 4.79 trillion won in 2019, the data showed.
By type, sales of online lottery tickets increased 8.4 percent on-year to 5.14 trillion won, and sales of pension-type tickets jumped 29.2 percent to 291.1 billion won, the data showed.
The brisk sales are attributable to reduced operations of other gambling businesses, such as casino and horse racing, amid the coronavirus pandemic, as well as improved public perception of lottery, the ministry said in a release.
Lottery tickets accounted for 42.1 percent of the total sales of the gambling industry in 2020, up from 21.2 percent the previous year.
According to a survey last year of 1,020 people aged 19 or older, 71.8 percent of males and 54 percent of females said they had bought a lottery ticket, with those in their 40s accounting for the largest portion of people having made such purchases.
Some 73.7 percent of the people had a positive impression of lottery, up from 66.5 percent a year earlier, the ministry said.
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