The 5 Leading Countries When it Comes to Gambling Losses

Top list overview

5. Rule, Britannia?

Well, when it comes to this topic, pretty much. Though it certainly isn’t the 1st on this list, rather takes 5th place, which is still ‘quite the achievement’. Its annual gambling losses estimate a total of no less than $19.9 billion! Once again, The Economist states that the annual average loss per adult is nothing short of 400 dollars. But in contrast to the other globe leaders when it comes to gambling, the UK appears to evenly split its wagers amongst a wide variety of gambling forms.

Would you believe that merely 10% of this is spent on your classic casinos? The rest goes out to non-casino gambling machines, lotteries, betting of all kinds, and, wouldn’t you know it, online gambling. So, it turns out that even though these Brits rather like testing their luck on a constant basis, they’re not exactly big fans of casino gaming.

4. Il Bel Paese

You may have heard of this lovely term (the beautiful land) being attributed to none other than Italy (it is in Italian, after all). This cradle of ancient civilization in the form of a boot totals its annual gambling losses at $23.9 billion! This means that, on average, an adult Italian loses no less than 450 dollars each year. And, yet again, the vast majority of Italian gambling occurs outside the casinos, mainly on non-casino gaming machines.

Though admittedly, lottery comes in second, albeit it’s a rather distant second. It appears that casino gambling is quite unpopular among the gambling residents of Italy. The Economist informs that the interactive online gambling outpaces its ‘casino cousin’, though just by a little.

3. Land of the Rising Sun

Coming in at third place, the Japanese take the bronze when it comes to annual gambling losses. These losses amount to a total of $31.4 billion every year. And yet surprisingly, regardless of this huge number, the average Japanese adult has a relatively low annual gambling loss. To be precise, no more than 300 dollars per year. And since casino gambling is officially considered illegal all across this land, is it any wonder that non-casino gambling machines are all the rage there?

This one particular pinball-flavored game, named ‘pachinko’, enjoys great popularity by the Japanese. Moreover, parlors don’t award cash, due to them trying to skirt the gambling regulations. This only means that the players need to go to a separate establishment, so they could sell the metal balls. Which metal balls, you ask?

You see, they serve as a makeshift type of currency when it comes to playing pachinko. In case you’re now thinking it sounds just a bit more complicated than necessary, we are here to tell you – you are absolutely right! Recently, however, the pressure on the lawmakers in Japan to ease these strict gambling restrictions has been rising. This is also largely due to the quick growth of China’s tourism industry.

And besides, South Korea has also greatly expanded when it comes to its casino industry, with several south-east Asian countries quickly following suit. So, if Japan follows through with its plan to build an integrated resort ‘a-la Singapore’ near its capital, Tokyo, then it may just flourish yet, and move up on the list soon enough.

2. Red is a Lucky Color!

Or maybe it’s the cute and cuddly pandas, which have already made appearances in certain slot themes and whatnot. Though in all honesty, it may not exactly be all that lucky for gamblers living in China, as their estimated annual gambling losses total at $76 billion. No wonder it takes second place on this list! And although such a high number is indeed something to gawk at, we need to remember that China has the largest population in the world  – 1.357 billion.

Though of course, not all are gamblers, but still. Despite this infamous second place, China does not belong to the top 20 countries when it comes to annual losses per resident. We mustn’t forget to mention the largest gambling city on the planet, Macau! But that’s not all, as you see, the Chinese government also appears to operate two lotteries. These are the China Welfare Lottery and the China Sports Lottery.

As far as unofficial lotteries, as well as other illegal gambling activities (card games and mahjong), back in 2010, an estimated 1 trillion Yuan (which would be about 154.68 million dollars) was reported. And since these were never accounted for in the official data collected, it may just be that China’s real annual gambling losses are much, much higher.

1. Good Ol’ US of A…

Is anyone truly shocked by this? After all, the United States is the ‘proud’ home of Sin City and many other casino destinations. Who doesn’t think of Las Vegas, whenever someone mentions gambling? It takes the gold here with an annual gambling loss totaling at around $119 billion. As if that wasn’t plenty, USA is also in the top 5 when it comes to annual gambling losses per resident – 500 dollars.

Once again, no big surprise, as there is no other folk out there who love their casino gambling as the Americans. Around 50% of these gambling losses occur on none other than the floors of their many casinos. And with such grand figures (enough to make one dizzy) it isn’t exactly a mystery why America’s large gambling industry thrives to this day.

And, for better or worse, new resorts are practically popping like daisies all across this vast county, which add to the competitive pressure Atlantic City (among others) has been feeling nowadays.


Well, were any of these a surprise for you? Maybe you were expecting to see some others instead? Whatever the case, now you know what’s what. And if you happen to be a citizen of one of these countries, now you have something more to ‘brag’ about your country being the leader in. And if you happen to be players yourselves, good luck to all of you no matter where you’re from!

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