Many people consider gambling a fun way to spend their free time and perhaps earn some money. And of course, while that’s not always true, understanding the philosophy behind this belief is important.
In order to do so, we’ve focused on five countries – Australia, Canada, Norway, the UK, and the USA – that are among the most affected when it comes to problem gambling. They’re full of people who are addicted to gambling and struggling to stop. With that in mind, read our gambling addiction statistics to find out how bad the problem is in these countries.
Worldwide Gambling Highlights
- Australians spend up to $1.5 billion on online gambling per year.
- 40% of poker machine money in Australia is provided by problem gamblers.
- 80% of all gamblers in Canada are men.
- 0.7% of Norwegians are gambling addicts.
- 55,000 Norwegians have a gambling addiction.
- Gambling addicts in the United Kingdom spend £1.2 billion annually.
- Between 0.6% and 1.1% of people in the UK are addicted to gambling.
- More than 2% of Americans gamble regularly and fall into the worst compulsive gambling statistics category.
- People in the USA lose around $6 billion annually due to gambling.
Gambling Statistics in Australia
1. Between 0.5% and 1% of Australians are dealing with a gambling addiction.
Even though this doesn’t sound like a big deal at first, the truth is quite the opposite. Since Australia has more than 25 million people, this means that between 125,000 and 250,000 of them are addicted to gambling. And as anyone who has experience dealing with gambling addiction facts will tell you that those numbers are both huge and frightening.
2. Australians are gambling away $1.5 billion in total each year.
Australia is a developed country, so $1.5 billion doesn’t sound that dramatic in the grand scheme of things. But since that money is coming from the pockets of everyday people, many of whom are addicted to gambling, it’s easy to see how the societal effects could compound.
3. Almost 100,000 people in Australia are struggling with the pokies.
There are many different names for slot machines, and Aussies refer to them as “the pokies.” The name sounds innocent enough, but these machines are a major cause of the country’s gambling addiction stats.
4. 40% of all money put into poker machines across Australia is from people who are dealing with a gambling addiction.
A huge percentage of all the money inserted into poker machines in Australia comes from the pockets of people who are addicted to gambling. These people aren’t just feeding the poker machines with huge amounts of money; they’re also worsening their own gambling habit.
5. 96% of all young Australians have engaged in gambling in one form or another.
This is among Australia’s most serious gambling addiction facts, because 96% may as well be the whole population. This is true for Aussies aged between 18 and 24. When they begin gambling that young, it’s safe to assume they’ll try it again in the future. And with Australia’s culture of casually spending an hour on the pokies, gambling every weekend on the footy, and dropping some serious money on horse racing, it’s no surprise that the effects of gambling addiction can quickly get out of hand.
Gambling Statistics in Canada
6. 80% of Canadian gamblers are men.
Not only are Canadians addicted to gambling as a nation, but if you look at the statistics on gambling addiction in this country, you might also be surprised to learn that four in every five Canadian gamblers are men. Moreover, you’ll notice that young men in their twenties make up a disproportionately high number of gamblers.
7. Most Canadians love to win quickly.
People in Canada gamble in a range of ways, but what they love most are lottery tickets. Around 65% of Canadians take part in the lottery at least once a year, which is over 20 million people in total.
8. More than half of women in Canada who gamble use their phones to do so.
This is another surprising fact, but it’s still among the most revealing ones if you’re trying to learn more about the psychology of gambling. While it seems that Canadian men are more likely to gambling at their local casino or sportsbook, women prefer using technology to roll the dice. Indeed, 55% of Canadian women who gamble use their phones to do so, which is among the highest rate of any population in the world.
9. Many Canadians refuse to admit that they have a gambling problem.
Finally, with so many people spending a huge amount of time gambling, you’d think Canadians would be more open about their issues. However, many aren’t willing to admit they’re addicted to gambling. To address that issue, they first need to face up to their problem. Moreover, they need answers to some of the most fundamental questions out there: what does gambling do to your brain, why are some people more prone to addiction, and what is the best treatment for gambling addiction?
Gambling Statistics in Norway
10. Close to 1% of people in Norway are addicted to gambling.
Despite the many laws and regulations placed on the gambling industry in Norway, about 0.7% of people there are struggling with gambling. This doesn’t sound like a lot at first – especially if you know that Norway has around 5.5 million people – but if you take a look at the gambling addiction statistics in the UK, for instance, you’ll see that Norwegians actually have a much bigger gambling issue per capita.
11. There are three acts regulating gambling in Norway.
As we’ve already mentioned, the Norwegian government is very conscientious when it comes to gambling, which is why the country has not one, not two, but three acts that regulate gambling. Passed in 1927, 1992, and 1995, these acts were all designed to help people gamble responsively and lower the number of addicts within Norway. However, if you take a look at the nation-wide gambling statistics, you’ll see that their success has been limited at best.
12. More than 20,000 Norwegians have developed a gambling addiction in the past five years.
When you compare the number of people gambling in Norway in 2015 and 2020, you’ll notice a huge rise. Namely, back in 2015, around 34,000 admitted they had a gambling issue, while today that number is around 55,000. This is a massive rise in the past five years, and is definitely something to consider when speaking about all the relevant and important statistics on gambling addiction.
13. More than 58% of Norwegian gamblers are gambling online.
(University of Bergen)
The aforementioned number of people gambling in Norway has a lot to do with the fact that they have easy access to gambling games over the internet. More than half of those who gamble – 58.3%, to be precise – do so on the internet and develop their addiction that way. This is a huge increase in comparison to surveys that were carried out just four or five years ago, and that’s why it’s important to speak about gambling addiction statistics as much as possible.
14. More than 120,000 Norwegians are at risk of getting addicted soon.
Unfortunately, since there are so many people addicted to gambling, it’s safe to assume that there are more to come. Recent surveys have shown that more than 120,000 Norwegians are close to developing a gambling addiction in the future, whether they know it or not.
Gambling Statistics in the United Kingdom
15. Gambling addicts spend more than £1.2 billion a year in the UK.
This is surely one of the most tragic gambling addiction facts out there, especially if you look at the amount of money that gets spent on public services in the same country. People in the United Kingdom waste over £1.2 billion gambling annually, which is shocking when you consider what that money could be used for. Just imagine all the houses, roads, hospitals, and schools that could be built with that money, and you’ll understand why the negative effects of gambling addiction are felt worldwide.
16. Around 1% of people in the UK are actually addicted to gambling.
Even though they’re spending massive amounts of money gambling, the relative number of genuine gambling addicts in the UK isn’t that big. All relevant gambling addiction statistics in the UK state that this number lies between 0.6% 1.1%. That’s comparable to the aforementioned numbers in Norway, for instance.
17. Gamblers in the UK have raised more than £41 billion for good causes.
With so many individuals taking part in the gambling industry on a regular basis, you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that they’re doing something good as well. Actually, since 1994, the UK’s National Lottery has managed to encourage people to raise over £41 billion. These particular gambling addiction statistics are an excellent reminder that gambling can in fact be put towards a worthy cause.
18. Almost half of the people in the UK gamble every once in a while.
This is another alarming fact that has to be taken seriously, especially if we’re trying to understand why so many people are addicted to gambling all across the world. Around 47% of all people in the UK gamble at least once per month in one way or another, and that’s a fact we need to keep in mind.
19. There are more than 8,000 betting shops in the UK.
A quick glance at the available gambling addiction facts and statistics in the UK reveals that there are more than 8,000 betting shops all around the United Kingdom. The number of these shops is constantly changing and they’re all over the place, making them accessible to people of all ages who are prone to developing a gambling habit.
Gambling Statistics in the United States of America
20. More than 2% of Americans gamble regularly and could be considered problem gamblers.
When speaking about the countries with the most individuals addicted to gambling, we can’t forget the USA. Being one of the biggest, most populated, and most developed countries in the world, the USA has a large number of people who are into gambling. In fact, gambling addiction statistics in America say that around 2.6% of all Americans are struggling with this addiction.
21. The USA is losing around $6 billion every year due to gambling.
With so many addicted gamblers in every American state, the entire country is wasting around $6 billion year after year on those who are addicted to gambling. Again, this money could do wonders for people across the USA and the world if properly spent, and that’s why this financial aspect is always a huge tragedy.
22. More than 80% of American gambling addicts relapse.
(National Center for Responsible Gaming)
When analyzing statistics on gambling addiction, we need to remember that there are two types of gamblers. There are those who gamble recreationally, from time to time, and those who do it on a daily basis. In the USA, a University of Calgary study shows that between 80% and 90% of people who seek treatment for a gambling addiction will fall back into their old habits within a year of finishing their rehab.
23. Between 0.2% and 0.3% of Americans have a diagnosable gambling problem.
Between 0.2% and 0.3% of gamblers in America have a genuine addiction to gambling that requires treatment. They have to ask the questions we’ve already discussed: why is gambling addictive and what can it do to my mental and physical health, as well as my financial situation? Only then can they move on and start their rehab for gambling so that they can move past their bad habit.
24. Around 750,000 young Americans have a gambling issue.
(University at Buffalo)
One of the most dangerous things about gambling is that it attracts young people more than it should. Teenagers and young adults – in other words, those individuals between the ages of 14 and 21 – are particularly prone to developing this habit and becoming problem gamblers. When it comes to US gambling addiction facts, as many as 750,000 young Americans are vulnerable as we speak.
A Few More Gambling Facts
These 24 facts aren’t the only pieces of information you need to know about gambling and addiction, but they’re among the most important ones when speaking about gambling tendencies around the globe. These five countries were chosen as the most representative ones in terms of reliable data, so it’s reasonable to assume that the situation is similar in other parts of the world.
Depending on your views on gambling, you could consider these gambling addiction facts and statistics tragic or completely understandable. The number of people who are into gambling today is directly connected to their financial state and how much money they actually make every single month. This doesn’t, of course, mean that only financially challenged people tend to become addicted to gambling, but we can conclude that lots of individuals see gambling as an easy way to earn a lot of money. If they can’t improve their lives any other way, they might see gambling as a chance for them to change their financial situation for the better and secure their future.
Another thing you need to know is that gambling addiction is something you can fight and overcome – that’s a message all gambling addiction recovery statistics confirm. Just because this issue seems to be the most important thing in your life right now doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way forever. If you understand that you don’t really need gambling to be happy, you can kick this habit forever and move on with your life. However, you’re going to need to build a strong support system and ask everyone around you to help you get better as soon as possible.