Highest Percentage of Gamblers per Country
While gambling is popular throughout the world, there are some countries where the percentage of gamblers is higher than in others.
Even though Las Vegas is viewed by most as the gambling capital of the world, the US is not the country that has the highest percentage of gamblers among its population. To derive which country’s citizens love gambling the most, researchers combined the number of slots machines, sports bets, casinos, number of losses per annum and other variables, and divided these by the adult population figure. Ultimately, the research revealed that several other countries had outpaced the US in terms of gambling.
We Canadians like to measure up to America, and, considering our comparatively small population, the figure of 75 per cent of adult population gamblers is quite impressive. The biggest number of gamblers in Canada are from Saskatchewan, which reported a gaming income of CA$840 per person. Many Canadians enjoy online casinos and lotteries, as well as sports betting. Overall, an average Canadian spends about CA$570 per year on gambling.
Australians spend so much money on gambling because of the number of video poker machines, called pokies, accessible everywhere. There are pokies in all parts of the country, from movie theatres to grocery shops, shopping centres, and airports. Although pokies are legal in other countries, bet sizes are often capped so that individuals cannot lose vast sums of money.
Pokies in Australia have only recently begun limiting the wagerable amounts. The government started to regulate video poker machines again after they were deregulated in the 1980s. And rightfully so, since pokies can cost a speedy bettor thousands of Australian dollars an hour to play.
Ireland has a long track record of wagering, with the local gambling rules nearly as old as the country itself. The first set of gaming laws in Ireland were legislated in 1956. Today, Ireland recognises many different types of gambling, including sportsbooks and betting shops, video poker machines, lotteries, and online gambling.
Although the Irish government has tried to limit bets on slots machines to 6 pence per spin and winning jackpots to 10 shillings, this law is not up to date. The country has been using the Euro since 1999, and many Irish citizens have been gambling far more than the legal framework permits. An average Irish gambler spends around CA$600 a year on gaming.
Government statistics in Finland report that about 41 per cent of adults gamble weekly, which the government views as a problem. At one stage, Finland allowed youths as young as 15 to gamble. However, in 2011, the gambling age was raised to 18 to discourage teenage gambling problem amongst Finns. Unfortunately, this has only been marginally successful.
Gambling spending in Finland amounts to CA$553 per adult. The country offers online casinos as well as a lottery. Not surprisingly, there is a surge of gambling activities amongst the population during the long, cold Finnish winters when the weather is harsh and stepping outside of your home is can be hazardous.
Singapore is a latecomer to the global gambling market, having opened its first casino as recently as 2010. That makes local casinos relatively young when you consider that some nearby countries have been gambling for over a century. In addition, Singapore charges its citizens a flat fee per visit to a casino each time they wish to bet.
However, this financial obligation has not slowed down the number of locals who gamble. Singaporeans spend more than CA$1,100 per adult citizen on gambling, which has raised alarm bells, with the government expressing fears that the local population is fast becoming addicted to gambling.
In the earlier part of the 21st century, Chinese spending per player was rivalling Australia, even though the Chinese market is exponentially larger than the Australian one. The Asia Pacific region has already surpassed the United States as the world’s largest gaming market.
However, the government of China has launched a far-reaching crackdown on corruption and began preventing party officials from accessing the casinos in Macao and Hong Kong. In one year alone, profit margins of Chinese casinos fell 20 per cent, and they have not yet recovered fully. This is a problem since Macao is the largest gambling market in the world.