A recent study by a London based consultancy listed the top ten nations in the world for gambling. While we here in the US may think we love a flutter, and cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City may be known the world over as major gambling hubs, we didn’t make the top 10, which was dominated by European countries like Ireland, Italy, Spain, Finland and Greece, along with Singapore in Asia and the number one gambling nation – Australia. The list was based on the amount lost by gamblers in each country where gambling is legal, divided by the adult population, to give an average loss per person. Australia, who had the boldest gamblers, had an average loss per person per year of $1,199. So why didn’t the USA make the list?
Diverse gambling laws
Different states have different gambling laws, so while in Nevada you can bet on just about anything, in most states you may be limited to just lotteries and scratch cards, unless you regularly travel to things like casinos and race courses. In the countries that appeared on the list, sports betting is legal everywhere and there are ‘betting shops’ where a person can go and put wagers on horse racing, soccer, NFL and just about every other imaginable sport in every town. They also have nationwide lotteries (Europe also has a full European lottery with a huge jackpot that people anywhere in the EU can buy tickets for), and games machines like video poker and slot machines are common in bars and games arcades. This means there are more opportunities to gamble, and therefore spending on gambling tends to be higher.
There is a common misconception that online gambling of any sort isn’t legal in America. This actually isn’t the case – the laws that make it difficult actually relate to the ability to deposit money from a bank into an account with an online casino when you are in the USA. If an American player is able to make a deposit, he or she can legally play things like online poker and slots or make sports bets online. In other parts of the world, getting an account with an online casino or betting site like Euro Palace Online Casino – a very popular site for things like virtual slots and card games – is very easy, and people have a lot of flexible options around how they can deposit and withdraw money, so there tends to be a much higher uptake of these services.
All things considered then, it is really regulations and a smaller amount of choice that seem to be behind the USA’s surprisingly low gambling rate compared with other nations.