Top 10 Gambling Nations: By Gaming Losses

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Aug/13/2011
Top 10 Gambling Nations:

The H2 Gambling Capital group, a consultancy firm based out of London, England, has released its Top 10 Gambling Nations by overall adult losses.  The results are staggering, with the United States not even placing among the top 10. 

Spain came in 10th with the average gambling loss per adult at $418.  Spain’s Christmas lottery called "El Gordo", or the Fat One, is the only lottery draw in the world to award more than $1 billion in prizes.  Spain has also been accommodating to the explosive online gambling world. 

Greece was listed in the number 9 spot.  The country is broke but its citizens keep gambling away, and continue to lose big with an average of $420 per adult.  Lotteries are among Greeks’ favorite ways to gamble. In 2010, the “Joker” lottery accumulated a record jackpot of 19 million euros.  OPAP is Europe’s biggest gambling company and it is based in Greece.  Once privatized next year, the company could help Greece pay off some of those debts. 

Norway may come as a surprise to many, but not to those of us here at Gambling911.com.  Norway is especially instrumental in the world of poker.  88 percent Norwegians confessed to being lifetime gamblers.

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Hong Kong came in 7t.  Casinos are outlawed in Hong Kong, but the world’s biggest gambling center, Macau is just an hour’s boat ride away, and in the first-quarter of 2011, half a million Hong Kongers visited Macau.  Within Hong Kong, horse racing, lotteries and soccer betting are the only forms of gambling allowed.

Italy is 6th on this list.  They are now the biggest poker playing market in Europe.  The government there recently began allowing online cash games 24 hours a day and the results have been phenomenal.  PokerStars.it Italian online poker room with a player pool that is all-inclusive to those living in Italy, ranks as the 4th largest online poker room in the world.   The study found that electronic gaming machines generated nearly half of Italy’s total gaming revenues in the first half of 2010.

Finland is home to some of the best known European poker pros like Viktor Blom and Patrik Antonius.  The nation also ranks 5th on the list of Top 10 Gambling Nations.  Forty-one percent of adult Finns gamble every week, according to a study by Finland's Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in 2007. The minimum age for playing on a slot machine has just been raised to 18 in July 2011, from just 15 previously.

Canada surprised many of us here coming in 4th on the list.  Gambling losses were at $568 per adult on average.  Over 75 percent of adult Canadians gambled on some form or the other, last year.   The biggest gamblers come from the potash-rich province of Saskatchewan, which has an average gambling revenue per person (aged 18 and above) of $841, against a national average of $527.  The province is also home to Gambling911.com. 

In 3rd place was Ireland.  It is home to a number of major bookmakers including Paddy Power.  Ireland’s casino industry is currently entirely unregulated because the country is governed by an outdated Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956. The law allows only bona fide members’ club to provide casino services.  Under the Act bets on a gaming machine cannot exceed 6 pence while prizes are capped at 10 shillings. No wonder, the law cannot be enforced as the Irish pound has not been legal tender since 1999 and the country is now trying to enact new legislation.   The Irish government has just given the green light to build a Las Vegas-style sports and leisure complex in Tipperary at an estimated cost of 460 million euros ($668 million).

Singapore was the 2nd largest gambling nation.   Gaming Losses Per Adult: $1,174.  This is nearly double that of Ireland.  Singapore opened its first casino a little over a year ago but it’s already the world’s third largest-gaming center after Macau and Las Vegas and it’s set to overtake Vegas this year.  Authorities have also implemented a "Family Exclusion Order," that allows a family to ban relatives from visiting casinos.

And number one on the list with average gambling losses of $1,288, Australia.  You know a nation is crazy about gambling when a gaming company offers people a chance to bet on whether the central bank will raise interest rates or not, CNBC.com noted.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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