The World’s Biggest Gamblers (Top Gambling Countries)

by on August 4, 2021

Gambling is a part of almost every culture, and it is integrated into some more than others. Several factors can determine the world’s biggest factors without restricting the answer to physical size. In some jurisdictions, lots of people gamble, but they do not spend large amounts.

In others, little time can be spent gambling, but massive bets are placed. Here are different ways to define the “biggest” gamblers globally and some countries that rank high in each category.

Loss Per Person

The amount lost by the average citizen due to gambling is one way to establish some of the world’s biggest gamblers. Keep in mind that people losing a lot of money gambling is not the same as many people placing bets and potentially winning. Therefore, it is not the only way to rank the countries.

Australia tops this list with an average loss of AUD1,260 per person, amounting to AUD24.88 billion annually. The most recent records released by the Queensland Treasury, the authoritative gambling statistics source in Australia, in the 35th edition of the Australian Gambling Statistics indicate that over $242 billion is spent on gambling per year.

This amount averaged across all Australians over the legal gambling age of eighteen equates to $12,000 per person. The national gambling losses tally at just under $25 billion ($1,260 per person). Casino gaming is responsible for the most losses ($1,070 per person), followed by racing ($177 per person) and sports betting ($62 per person).

Singapore comes in second with a record $1,174 loss per person on average. The country is predicted to overtake Australia over time, considering the country only recently embraced the gambling industry in 2010. Other countries topping this list include Ireland, Finland, The United States, Canada, Norway, Italy, Britain, and Malta.

Gambling Expenditure

The overall amount spent on gambling by a country is an excellent indicator of how big the region embraces the practice. China is the biggest gambler in this consideration, thanks to the gambling enclave Macau. While this semi-autonomous state has significantly fewer gambling dens than Las Vegas, its gambling revenue dwarves that of Sin City.

While the region suffered during 2020 due to the pandemic, it closed 2019 on a strong note and recorded a double-digit uptake, a massive gain amassed in four months. The gambling revenue rose by 16.6% ($3.28 billion).

The region offers entertainment options beyond slots, roulette, and other casino games to appeal to mass-market customers. Nonetheless, gambling dominates its economy, and the figures are expected to rise as the world recovers.

The United States is also a big gambling spender, and the numbers are predicted to continue peaking as more states legalize the activity. Commercial casinos located in gambling regions like Las Vegas and Atlantic City lead the gross revenue charts with $51.4 billion.

These establishments sustain about 737,000 jobs and pay $34.334 billion to staff income. The Las Vegas Strip accounts for $6.59 billion in gaming revenues, allowing it to maintain its place as the gambling capital. Atlantic City follows with a $2.51 billion gambling revenue. Other top gambling revenues include;

  • Tribal casinos – $32 billion
  • Lotteries – $72 billion
  • Poker rooms – $1.9 billion
  • Legal bookmaking – $248 million
  • Online gambling – 247.5 million

Japan, South Korea, and Germany are other countries with high overall gambling expenditure per annum.

The Number of Gamblers

Counting the number of gamblers in a country is one of the simplest ways to rank the biggest gambling nations. Given, even spending as little as a penny on a slot machine a year counts towards this statistic.

Yet, it makes sense to consider in the sense that one is influenced to place a bet. This statistic has its flaws since it relies on some level of guesswork. For instance, the average of a country is represented by the results collected from a small group. Also, there is no universal measure of what makes a person a gambler.

The size of a country’s population may influence the disparity in the percentage and number of gamblers. A large portion of a small population can be smaller than a small percentage of a large population. For instance, the gambling population in the Netherlands is 87% (17.28 million), the highest in the world.

However, it is smaller than the 66.65 million gamblers in the United Kingdom despite being 68% of the population. In the United States of America, the statistics drop to 64%, but the number of gamblers is a whopping 328 million. Australia also ranks high on this list with an 80% gambling population, amounting to 24.99 million.

The European continent has by far the highest number of gamblers. Countries that record more than 54% of their residents gambling include Russia, Finland, Belgium, Malta, Ireland, Iceland, and Italy.

The Number of Land-Based Casinos

Online gambling may have become the most popular gambling form globally, but location-based casinos continue to be viable options. The US is the undisputed winner in this consideration. The nation is home to 1,968 brick-and-mortar gambling dens covering a 9.834 million km2 area. Las Vegas is the most massive gambling city in the USA and is home to legendary destinations like;

  • The Venetian Palazzo Resort Casino
  • MGM Grand
  • The Mirage
  • Caesar’s Palace
  • The Bellagio
  • Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
  • The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
  • Red Rock Casino
  • Wynn Casino

The MGM, Venetian, and Wynn casinos have sister destinations on the Macau Strip. Atlantic City, the second-largest gambling metropolis in the US, adds to this list with destinations like Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Borgata Casino, Caesar’s Atlantic, Ocean Resort Casino, and Resorts Casino Hotel. 

Canada, which has less than nine times the number of casinos in the United States, ranks second with 216 casinos covering 9.985 million km2. Mexico, The Netherlands, and France follow with 206, 188, and 183 casinos, respectively.

Accessibility to Online Casinos

The United Kingdom does not rank high in the brick-and-mortar’s casinos list, with 158 casinos covering over 242,000 km2.

However, it has thousands of online casinos accessible to its residents. The nation takes socially responsible steps to ensure fair and safe gambling services for its citizens. The UKGC oversees the implementation of the country’s laws, setting an excellent standard for other countries.

Closing Thoughts

Different countries cut the list when regarding various factors to determine the world’s biggest gamblers. The United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia are among the most consistent with the factors considered.

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