Whether it’s on casino games, sports betting, or lotteries, betting is big business. The world’s biggest gaming nations spend billions of dollars on bets annually, but which markets are they betting on?
We’ve taken a look at which countries spend the most on gambling, and at which markets get most of their money.
Australia is by far the world’s biggest gambling nation. The country has a worldwide reputation for sporting excellence, and while sports betting is popular, Aussies cannot get enough of casino games; slot machines, known locally as pokies, in particular.
In fact, there are approximately 200 000 slot machines in Australia; half of which are located in New South Wales. Those are just the land-based slots. Aussies are also fans of playing mobile and online slots.
However, we may see a rise in sports betting, given that the government has agreed to review online in-play sports betting laws.
The Singapore government legalised casinos a few years ago, and, given the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from Singaporeans, they may be questioning the wisdom of that decision.
The tiny city-state has already become the third biggest gambling hotspot in the world; surpassed only by Las Vegas and Macau. There is no question about it – Singapore loves its casinos.
Betting in Ireland has traditionally been associated with horseracing and greyhound racing. However, that is changing.
A few changes to the country’s gambling laws paved the way for casinos, which has allowed Irish players to discover a new love for slot machines and table games. Players also have a wealth of online and mobile casino gaming options available, and begorrah, they know how to use them.
Compared with the country immediately to the south of it, Canada seems like a cool, calm, and collected place. Generally, it is, until Canadians get near a casino.
Despite the popularity of slots and other casino games, scratch cards and lottery tickets are where the bulk of Canadians’ betting money goes. Some parents even included lottery tickets among their children’s Christmas gifts; a practice that drew sharp criticism from the government.
Finland has a love of some of the more traditional forms of gambling. Players in the northern European country spend the bulk of their bets on slots machines and lottery tickets.
Interestingly enough, until a law change in 2011, Finns had to be at least 15 years old to spin the reels. The legal change raised the age limit to 18 as a means of trying to combat problem gambling.
Italy may be known for prowess on the football field, but its love of casinos goes back centuries. The very first government-approved casino was the Ridotto in Venice, which opened its doors way back in 1638.
Now, slot machines are responsible for bringing in approximately half of the country’s annual gambling revenue.
Despite the fact that casinos are illegal in Hong Kong, the island’s citizens are famed for their passion for gambling.
While many players are able to take a short boat trip to the southern Chinese territory of Macau where they are able to play table games such as baccarat to their heart’s content – or at least until their bankrolls run out – many turn to legal racing and sports betting when on home ground.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club alone hosts several hundred races annually, and brings in billions of dollars in betting revenue.
A few years ago, more than 80 per cent of Norwegian adults stated that they gamble regularly. The bulk of their bets are spent on slot machines, sports betting, lottery tickets, and scratch cards.