Where do people gamble most?

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Before we get into the list of the countries which gamble the most, let’s see which are the reasons behind gambling. Besides the fact that it offers us a wonderful time and thrill. At first sight, it might seem that people gamble because they have the chance to win money or prizes. But is this the only reason?

Psychologists say that one of the reasons gambling is so interesting for us is that it is human nature to feel excited when taking risks and have positive feelings afterwards, and this is the actual case with gambling. The adrenalin rush we get from the anticipations, the expectation is a feeling we all seek and make it equal to entertainment and fun. And this feeling makes us feel so good, that some people tend to believe they can’t live without it.

Moreover, gambling can be a good excuse to escape from your everyday life, like any hobby that is. No matter how you like to gamble, be it online or offline, there are lots of flashy lights, sound and elements to stimulate our senses.

The media advertise this stylish, fashionable and sexy lifestyle that is associated with gambling, and its everything we are dreaming of. It makes us believe that we can also have a piece of that, so we end up wanting it.

Gambling gets accepted as part of society’s culture when the majority of the population gets involved in it. Even young people get introduced to gambling by playing card games with their elders at home or with their friends, even though it does not involve bets and it is just done for fun. It’s just an amusement, but it sets the ground for future gambling for some individuals.

All the reasons we have listed above make people think about gambling in a non-risky way when in reality things don’t really work that way. The odds favour the house, and it’s no surprise. Otherwise, how could casinos or gambling providers make a living out of it? So, we need to take a more responsible look at gambling. It’s perfectly fine to indulge in such activities from time to time, but we do not, under any circumstances, go over what we can afford.

That being said, there are places around the globe that are associated with gambling most than anything. And the first ones that just pop into our minds are Vegas, Macau, Reno or Monte Carlo. And they are associated with glitzy images, flashy lights and wealth high-rollers. But it might come as a surprise that the countries in which you can find these cities are not the ones in which people gamble the most.

To be honest, the biggest gambling markets in the world include countries which are the least suspect. The H2 Gambling Capital ranked the top countries where gambling losses are at their highest in order to figure out where people gamble the most, and the results are at least surprising. The results include all sorts of games, from pokie machines, poker, casinos or horse racing.

The biggest gambling countries in the world


Australia is in the top when it comes to gambling, as it is so prevalent here. In fact, the central bank had to increase the interest rated due to Aussie gambling so much. As online sports wagering is allowed in Australia, there are lots of people placing bets on those as well. And pokies are very popular, which led to them being present in most pubs, bars and even hotel receptions throughout the country. In fact, the New South Wales holds half of the Australian pokie machines.

Gambling losses in Australia are the highest in the world per adult capita, placing the country at the top of our list about where people gamble most. In 2017, $1.288 were lost per adult.


Even though it is one of the younger countries to allow gambling, with its first casino opened in 2010, Singapore is now one of the biggest gambling hubs in the world. The opening of the first casinos in Singapore concerned people, as they started worrying the loses it might involve and the additions it might create.

Therefore, the government took measure to discourage gambling among locals by imposing a fee for entering the land-based casinos. And there is also a legal way for families to band their members from entering casinos. Despite these measures, gambling has gained more and more popularity in the country and its recorder losses of $1.174 per adult.


Ireland’s gambling is regulated by the old Gaming and Lottery Act of 1956, which makes things pretty outdated. But there is a lot of gambling done currently there, as registered members’ club are allowed to provide casino games and services. Gaming machines are also allowed, but there are regulations imposed on the maximum bets and rewards, making things a bit more complicated.

However, as the regulations do not keep track with the modern times, and even the money specified in the gambling Act are no longer in circulation, one cannot enforce anything. However, the government has already started to regulate the gambling market in Ireland to comply with modern standards, as losses per adult reach $588.


According to the local surveys, over 75% of Canadians from the adult population have participated in one form or another of gambling. And the highest number of people who gamble in Canada come from the Saskatchewan region. It features $841 gambling revenue per adult.

The most popular gambling games in Canada are the scratchies and the lottery, on which the government set up initiatives in order to discourage the gift offering of tickets to minors. In the entire country, the gambling losses per capita reach $568.


The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland reported that over 41% of the country’s adult population gets involved in gambling weekly. Up until recently, the legal gambling age was 15, but nowadays it is set at 18 in order to discourage underage gambling.

The national lottery of Finland is government property and managed by the Ministry of Education. The ministry channels the gambling revenues to arts, education and culture. The Paf Group of Finland is the authority running the online gambling in the country and offers rewards to its loyal customers when they spend less, customers who are certified to be suffering from addiction. The gamblers in Finland lose about $553 per adult.


In China, the gambling industry in mostly outlawed. There are only state-run lotteries in which local can indulge in. However, this is not the case with Macau. It has a special administrative state authority and nowadays sports one of the biggest gambling hubs in the world. However, even though it is not entirely governed by Beijing, it holds a massive pressure when it comes to its gambling revenues.

Macau is home to 38 casinos, some of them being part of major gambling projects worldwide. Even so, China imposed a clampdown on the cash flow from gambling, leaving many casinos struggling. This did not stop the players to enjoy gambling, as losses are around $1.354 per adult in Macau.

United States of America

Online gambling is banned in most states in the United States, but there are lots of brick and mortar casinos. And most states also allow lotteries. Even if sports betting is not allowed in most states, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware were the first states to regulate the online gambling industry, being now able to operate legal online casinos and poker sites.

However, the Nevada state is adding up to the gambling revenue of the United States, with gambling cities like Las Vegas and Reno. But New Jersey and Atlantic City are having good improvement as well.

There is a state-by-state basis which governs the casino, lotteries and sports books in the U.S. and, even though sports betting is still not allowed across the continent, it is being challenged by the rise in popularity of the Daily Fantasy Sports. In the California and Florida states live poker rooms are legal, even though they do not allow online poker yet. The state of Pennsylvania has liberalized the online and land-based gambling markets.

The loses per adult in Las Vegas are around $156.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom holds one of the original gambling markets in the world, being quite permissive when it comes to this kind of activities. This is also due to the fact Great Britain has had from the beginning a regulating authority to supervise the market, which is the UK Gambling Commission, which made sure thing are clear and safe for both providers and players.

The UK gambling market holds some impressive numbers, from the number of betting outlets to the market’s size in itself. The brick and mortar casinos, the poker rooms, the national lottery and bingo are all regulated in the country. Things are no different when it comes to the online gambling market, as locals are allowed to access and gamble on online gambling websites as well.

Final few words on the subject

While there are some places around the globe which are synonymous with gambling, such as Las Vegas and Macau in recent years, they are not actually where people gamble the most. For example, the gambling industry’s most important and biggest expo is actually held in London.

The gambling market in Australia is one of the most lucrative ones, as the loses per adult individual is reported to be 40% higher than in Singapore, the second largest gambling market in the world. Other Western countries report having gambling loses that are half of the Aussie numbers. One of the main reasons for these figures is the fact that many countries have capped the bet sizes in pokie machines to modest levels, while in Australia players can lose even more than 1.000 dollars in a single hour.

On the other hand, the online gambling industry is one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide, accounted for a good 11% of the total profits from gambling registered in 2016. But government regulators have always something to say when it comes to this industry.

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