The Country with the Most Gamblers

Gambling is popular all over the world. Still, it is much more popular in some countries than it is in others. Keep reading to learn which country has the most gamblers.

Which Country has the Most Gamblers?

Gambling is one of the most universally loved pastimes. If a region is populated, then there’s an excellent chance that you’ll be able to wager on something. In fact, you don’t even need a local population or a land-based betting venue to gamble thanks to the internet revolution. 

All you need is an internet signal and a computer or mobile device to get all the action you could ever ask for. There are plenty of excellent online casinos. For example you can play Rocket Casino that offer a vast variety of real money casino games. All you need to do is tap the screen on your mobile device once or twice and you’re there. 

With gambling now being so easily accessible on a global scale, many people wonder which country has the most gamblers. There are a couple of things to consider when coming up with the answer. It is estimated that about 26% of the entire global population gambles. This would imply that a country like China, which has a population of over 1.4 billion people, would be home to over 350 million gamblers. That is almost equivalent to the entire population of the United States which happens to be the third-most populated nation on the planet. The problem is that most forms of betting are illegal there which makes it nearly impossible to come up with reliable statistics.

Biggest Gamblers Per Capita: The Nine Runners Up

Let’s look at the topic in terms of which country has the biggest gamblers. In other words, which nation’s gamblers spend and lose the most on an individual basis? 

Spain

Even though betting is legal and the country is a popular destination for casino goers, Spain is primarily a nation of sports bettors. In any case, the average Spaniard gambles away an estimated $418 each year.

Greece

Greece’s per capita gambling spending is affected by its close proximity to Cyprus which is a major betting center. However, Greeks appear to prefer playing lotteries over the likes of poker and casino games. The average Greek spends about $420 per year on different sorts of betting.

Norway

Norwegians are partial to online casinos and sports betting. Even though the regulatory environment is rather strict, Norwegians spend approximately $448 per year on their gambling entertainment.  

Hong Kong

One might find it hard to believe that a country that prohibits most forms of gambling would make this list. Still, Hong Kong’s sole authorized operator, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, is massively popular and residents spend about $500 each year on gambling.

Italy

Italy’s appearance on this list should come as little surprise considering the country’s long gambling history. It is home to about three dozen land-based gambling facilities including the world’s oldest casino. The average Italian spends about $517 on gambling per year.

Finland 

Like Norway, the betting regulations in Finland are quite strict. Despite having just two gambling companies operating, Finns shell out about $553 annually on their betting. Naturally, a lot of that business goes to offshore operators who gladly accept Finnish players and their currency.

Canada

Canadian gambling laws are among the most liberal in the world. They have access to almost all forms of wagering be it lotteries, sports betting, horse racing, or domestic and international online betting sites. The average Canadian racks up about $568 in annual gambling losses.

United Kingdom

You won’t be shocked to learn that residents of the United Kingdom love to gamble. In fact, about one in three people in the UK place some sort of wager at least once a week and their yearly annual gambling bill comes to about $588 per person.

Singapore

Legal gambling in Singapore is a relatively new thing. It was only in 2010 that Singapore opened the country’s first casino. While it is now a prominent gambling destination, Singaporean gamblers must follow some strict rules such as having to pay over $80 just to enter a Singaporean casino. Neither that entrance fee nor the strict regulatory environment stops residents from dropping over $1,000 annually on their gambling. That’s quite the lead over the previous entries on this list.

…And the Winner is…Australia

Australians love their pokies. They also love the lottery, playing the ponies, betting on sports, and playing casino games at land-based venues and online. There really isn’t anything that the biggest of Australian gamblers won’t bet on. It’s a good thing that the average income is so high because they fork out an estimated $1,128 per year on their gambling entertainment.

Now, this figure is a couple of years old. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the amount of money Australians spend on their gambling. A recent study conducted by analytics firm AlphaBeta suggests that the amount of money Australians spend on gambling has risen by a whopping 284% since the lockdowns began. While the study did not separate the different types of gambling or whether it was done online or at brick-and-mortar venues, it’s safe to assume that online gambling is the driving force. After all, many land-based establishments are closed leaving few other options. 

What about the United States?

The American gambling landscape has changed significantly over the past couple of years. Prior to 2018, Americans didn’t have too many legal online gambling options. While the United States is home to major gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, they didn’t have too much to legally gamble on besides such things as horse racing, lotteries, and Bingo. Laws like PASPA and UIGEA along with a controversial interpretation of the Wire Act were huge barriers.

It took time, but successful court challenges finally opened the door to legal online gambling. Now, no fewer than 31 states have legalized sports betting and a few have even embraced online casinos, poker, and other forms of internet betting. 

In early 2019, it was estimated that the average American spent about $260 per year on legal gambling. Bear in mind that this was before the pandemic and shortly after the first few states opened the online gambling floodgates. Things have certainly changed since then, but the United States has a way to go before it ranks up there with the likes of Australia.

…And Then There’s China

We have gone over the countries with the biggest gamblers. The country with the most gamblers is China. Again, we are talking about a nation of over 1.4 billion people. A nation in which gambling is a long-running tradition. It might be illegal, but it is socially acceptable and quite trendy. Chinese gamblers of all stripes regularly log into their not-so-legal online betting accounts or they frequent underground gambling establishments that operate throughout the country. 

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