World’s Largest Gambling Nations
Gambling, in one form or another, has been present for centuries. People seem to love the idea of unpredictable outcomes, exhilaration, and calculations they get from gambling, be it in casinos, sports betting parlors, or online platforms.
Consequently, it has become a favorite pastime for millions of people worldwide.
Although we always imagine luxurious and ritzy Las Vegas or Monte Carlo casinos when talking about gambling, the reality is entirely different.
On the other hand, when online gambling is concerned, Europe has the largest market that generates more than $25 billion. Second place belongs to Asia with approximately $14 billion in online gambling revenue, followed by North America with over $8 billion.
While it may seem impossible to determine the exact number of active gamblers, I discovered which countries have the most passionate gamblers. Keep on reading to find out more — you’ll probably see some unexpected names on the list.
In the online gambling world, Australia is known for its confusing laws. It is the only country in the world that has legalized online sports betting, but bettors can’t bet online during live events.
The only way to place a sports bet is to contact the operator by phone, and a representative will create your betslip.
Hopefully, this will change soon so that sports enthusiasts can place fast and straightforward sports bets.
As far as land-based gambling venues are concerned, the most popular game is pokies, i.e., slot machines. Based on Australia’s Productivity Commission reports, more than 600,000 adults partake in weekly gambling activities, most of which are reserved for pokies.
If you didn’t know, India has some of the fiercest sports betting fans in the world. Apart from the UK, cricket is the most popular sport in India, gathering millions of fans to root and bet on their favorite teams.
Although the country has yet to legalize the betting markets, specific online gambling platforms cater to India and accept their bets.
Even though online gambling is the only option available to Indian residents, it’s still challenging to know the exact number of punters.
Nevertheless, it’s estimated that India’s online gambling revenue in 2018 was 44 billion rupees (approximately $600 million), and I believe it has yet to grow. Keep in mind that the locals aren’t that interested in online casino games — their primary focus is sports betting, which makes this one of the biggest sports wagering nations.
Compared to other nations, Singapore is relatively new to the gambling industry. The first casino resort was opened in 2010, and now, a decade later, the country has only two brick-and-mortar casinos.
Surprisingly enough, when the global gambling revenue is concerned, reports show that Singapore ranks fourth globally, right after the US, Macau, and Canada. What makes this more interesting is that over 50% of the Singapore adult population participates in various gambling activities.
When it comes to football, I believe that Italians are the most loyal fans. The country has a well-developed gambling scene. However, online gambling seems to bring in bigger revenue. Italian online sports betting scene is one of the largest in Europe, next to the UK.
In 2017, the annual betting and gambling revenue amounted to $18 billion, which shows significant growth compared to 2010, when the income was approximately $10 billion.
Despite the 2018 gambling advertising ban, Italy remains one of the largest gambling nations in the world. In 2019, it ranked first by its gross gaming revenue of $22 billion.
Having legalized gambling in 1981, Spain was a little late to the party, unlike other nations that already had a lively gambling scene at the time. Nevertheless, Spain is famous for its successful football clubs and world-renowned players that attract the attention of betting enthusiasts.
Consequently, Spaniards spend a lot of their time (and money) on sports betting. However, casinos are also a popular pastime among adult Spanish residents.
According to research, in 2017, casinos in Spain reported revenue of more than $414 million. That same year, gambling venues had more than 4.6 million visits, making Spain one of the top gambling destinations in Europe.
Nothing speaks more about passion for gambling than traveling to another region just to play your favorite casino games. That’s exactly what’s happening in Hong Kong, where casinos are prohibited by law.
Everyone who wants to play poker, blackjack, baccarat or any other popular game needs to travel by boat to Macau — one of the world’s most prominent gambling destinations.
Those who prefer sports betting have more opportunities within this region. Currently, the only legal gambling activities in Hong Kong include horse racing, soccer betting, and lotteries. One of the main gambling institutions is The Hong Kong Jockey club, which hosts more than 700 races a year. In 2010, the club generated more than $2.7 billion from lotteries and sports wagers.
Even though Greece’s casino revenue significantly dropped from $644 million in 2010 to $316 million in 2017, its online gambling industry seems to be flourishing.
The Hellenic Gaming Commission confirmed that the online gambling revenue showed a 37% growth compared to 2017.
With 15 active online gambling operators, Greece displayed a surge in online casino and sports betting activities. According to a report, the country noted that people bet more than $8.5 billion in 2018, which put Greece on the map among the largest gambling nations.
Like Italy and Spain, France is also known for strong football clubs and monumental matches soccer fans want to re-live. Naturally, the gambling industry is blooming, and the online sector also contributes to the national economy.
In the second quarter of 2016, the French sports enthusiasts generated sports betting revenue of more than $711 million, which displayed a 73% growth compared to the same quarter in 2015.
As far as casinos are concerned, the reports also show that many of the adult French population frequently visit brick-and-mortar casinos. In 2017, that number was 33 million, with revenue of nearly $3 billion.
Annual reports show that 75% of Canadians partake in some form of gambling activity, placing this country third on the global level by gambling revenue.
On a national level, gambling is a striving industry. While the biggest portion of the population (65%) spends its money on lotteries, 49% of gambling buffs go straight to slot machines when visiting a casino.
In September 2019, the country reported that the value of the gambling industry grew and amounted to $2.65 billion, which ranked Canada as one of the countries with the largest gambling scene globally.