People from different countries around the world often enjoy their spare time in a variety of different ways. Gambling is just one of many social past times that have been enjoyed the world over for as long as people can remember.

Over time, gambling has evolved from simple card games played in basements or saloons to the massive, multi-story casino palaces of Las Vegas. Most recently, gambling has moved online where it is enjoying a renaissance of sorts: it’s being adopted by a previously untapped audience of players from far-off regions that are new to gambling.

So in which places around the world are gambling and bingo most popular these days? The answer to that question is not so simple, for it depends on a range of factors that dictate how one would gauge the popularity of gambling.


Total Expenditure

Overall, the entire global gambling industry is worth about $400 billion, with around $50 billion of that attributed to online gambling. Slots and casino games remain the most common form of gambling, with sports betting and poker in second and third places respectively.

China and the United States, being two highly populous countries, enjoy the highest level of gambling winnings per year, with $24.3 billion and $23.5 billion respectively.


The Country with the Most Gamblers

Despite winning far less overall than the U.S, it is estimated that a massive 80% of the Australian population gamble. This makes it the country with the highest percentage of overall gamblers in the world. It is believed that Australia’s policy of not taxing players on their gambling winnings has helped to drive this phenomenon.

The United Kingdom, (encompassing England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland), also has a high percentage of gamblers, with an estimated 38% of the population playing every week. Despite strict regulations governing gambling in the UK, online casinos have become very popular in the country.


The Country that Loses the Most per Adult

According to several data sources, Australian adults lose the most money on gambling every year with an average of almost $1,288 (US) each. “Pokies” – Australian and Kiwi slang for poker machines – are hugely popular in the country and can be found in many bars and restaurants. The tiny island nation of Singapore comes in distant second place with just less than $700 per person. Following the legalization of casinos in 2016, gambling in Singapore has exploded in popularity.

At the lower end of the top ten countries is Spain with approximately $418 in losses per person and Greece at about $420 per person. Moving up towards the middle is Finland at $553 in losses per person and Italy with $517 per person. Online gambling in Italy has increased recently following a surge of interest in Book of Ra Online, the most popular online slots in Canada to play for real money.


The Country with the Biggest Gambling Industry

The rise of online gambling has turned some otherwise small countries that have relaxed gambling laws into wealthy gambling havens. The small Mediterranean island of Malta is an example of one such country, with gambling accounting for 13.2% of its overall revenue. However, the global gambling industry still takes the majority of its income from land-based casinos, the bulk of which are in the U.S state of Nevada. Combined with a few other gambling activities across various states, the U.S gambling industry is worth a whopping $261 billion.

Although not technically a country, the autonomous Chinese region of Macau makes almost half its entire revenue from gambling. In 2018, it was estimated to make $38 billion from its many casinos despite gambling being illegal in mainland China.