Gambling is a popular pastime for many people worldwide. Nowadays, but also in the past. For instance, there is evidence that 40,000 years before Christ people were already gambling with sheep’s bones and that lotteries were already taking place in the Roman Empire. Over the years – up to the current date – gambling has become increasingly popular and many new gaming methods have emerged over the years. It has even become one of the most profitable industries in the world. Which is not surprising at all! World statistics on gambling show that 26% of the total world population gambles in land-based casinos and 17% through online casinos. That equates to approximately 1.6 billion people worldwide!
And the popularity of gambling is expected to increase every year. Economists of the research agency Research and Markets in Dublin (Ireland) calculated that the total world turnover in 2022 will be approximately 635 billion dollars!
In this article about the top 10 gambling countries in the world, we are going to show you which countries are the biggest gambling fans.
We kick off this list of the top 10 gambling countries in the world with Spain. When you think of gambling, Spain is not the first place that comes up in most people’s minds. However, Spain is a country where gambling is very popular. After gambling was regulated in 1981, the popularity of gambling in the country grew steadily. Lotteries and games of chance are particularly popular. For example, the popular Christmas lottery ‘El Gordo’ is held every year and it is estimated that 80% of adults in Spain take part in this lottery. This is understandable when you consider the potential winnings… Prizes can be as high as $1 billion!
As many also know, Spain is a real sports country with famous football clubs like FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atlético Madrid. Sports betting is therefore also very popular. Sporting events where there is a lot of betting going on are of course the Primera Division, the ATP Masters tournament in Madrid, and the Spanish Grand Prix. Also, a lot of money is bet on the traditional bullfights that are really typical for Spain.
The total betting loss in Spain per person is approximately $418.
2. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is another country where gambling is very popular. An additional factor to its popularity is that gambling in the United Kingdom is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.
Online gambling is particularly popular with games such as bingo and video slots. When it comes to online gambling, the United Kingdom is a market leader with the highest number of active users. These users are mostly between 25 – 34 years old. Furthermore, the British also like to do sports betting. Especially on well-known sports such as horse racing, football, tennis and basketball.
The United Kingdom has approximately 9000 legal betting shops and more than 100,000 employees working in the gambling industry.
With a total gambling loss of about $1,288 per person, gamblers in Australia have the highest gambling loss you will find on this list. Looks like real gambling lovers these Aussies, aren’t they?
But it’s not surprising, since gambling in Australia is considered a real hobby. This is reflected in some data about gambling in Australia. It shows that 80% of adults in Australia are active in the gambling industry. The highest percentage in the world! Because gambling is so popular in Australia, the central bank was prompted to raise interest rates.
All in all, if you want to make Australians really happy, you can do so with a nice slot machine, a game of poker or a bet on a nice horse race.
The Irish people are also real gambling fans! Especially when it comes to horse racing. Ireland is known worldwide for this and there are plenty of people who come to Ireland just for this reason. Apart from horse racing, other sports bets are also very popular. But it doesn’t stop at sports betting! The Irish people are also fond of (online) casino games such as blackjack, poker, craps, slots, or a game of bingo.
The gambling loss in Ireland is approximately $588 per person.
The first casino in Italy opened its doors in 1638 in Venice. And it became a great success! Until today, the popularity of gambling in Italy continues to grow. Current trends and developments are also well integrated into the gaming offer.
Italians are particularly fond of playing poker games. For example, in Italy there are many different national poker- & poker championships where a lot of money can be made. In addition, Italians love playing online slot machines. The fact that they love gambling is also reflected in the average gambling loss, which is about $517 per person.
6. The USA
When we think about the United States in combination with gambling, images of the world-famous gambling city Las Vegas probably pop into your head. And this is not surprising! In Las Vegas, every gambling fanatic can find everything his heart desires: countless casinos with their many flickering lights – which almost make you wear sunglasses – and the most luxurious and largest hotels. Americans are especially fond of lotteries, blackjack, baccarat, American poker and craps.
However, gambling in the United States is not a matter of course. Since the thirties of the last century, gambling has been legal, but subject to very strict requirements. For example, online gambling or sports betting is not allowed in every state according to the American federal law. So, are you interested in gambling in the United States? Make sure it is legal in the place you are visiting.
Singapore has not been around very long in the gambling business. The first casino only opened in 2010(!), which is quite late compared to other countries. But we can definitely conclude that this was a great move, since Singapore has become one of the most successful countries in recent years when it comes to gambling.
Also people outside the border find Singapore a suitable destination for gambling. According to the Singapore Tourist Board, foreigners spend 1.5 billion dollars annually on betting and casino games.
One place that is definitely recommended when you want to gamble in Singapore is Marina Bay. Here, the range of games is so huge that you can entertain yourself for a long time!
Singapore’s love for gambling is also reflected in the average gambling loss. This is approximately $1174 per person (the second-highest amount on this list).
The eighth country in this list of the top 10 gambling countries in the world is Canada. In this country, lotteries, sports betting and card games are particularly popular. In the Great White North especially the online casinos are very popular.
That gambling is popular in Canada can certainly be concluded from the following results: It appears that at least 75% of the adults in Canada have ever practiced at least one form of gambling. In addition, they have a gambling loss of $568 per person.
Gambling is largely legal in Canada but, like in the US, each region may have its own rules. Important to keep in mind!
Macau, also called ‘the Las Vegas of Asia’, ‘The Mecca of Gambling’ or ‘the gambling city of the East’. But why these names? Well, Macau has about 35 casinos and is equipped with the most luxurious resorts and hotels. You get the real typical feeling like you are in Las Vegas.
Every year, a huge number of tourists come to this Chinese city to have a bet in a casino. The range of games on offer is huge, so you can be sure to find everything you want to enjoy when it comes to gambling. The popularity is also reflected in the annual revenues of the casinos in Macau. These amount to approximately $21 billion annually.
And the last country on this list of the top 10 gambling countries in the world is… Finland! A country where gambling is usually not the first association. But the Finns sure know a thing or two about it! According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, more than 41% of Finnish adults gamble on a weekly basis. Here games of chance are very popular.
Apart from games of chance, online casinos are also extremely popular. They have even become an important source of income for the Finnish government! Finally, land-based casinos are also very well-liked. In Finland, there are about 50 cities that offer gambling facilities. Here the focus is mainly on sports betting.
The annual gambling loss per person is approximately $553.