The Biggest Gambling Countries In The World

The Biggest Gambling Countries In The World

Overview of the Worldwide Betting Market

As we have discussed in The History Of Gambling, betting has been part of our culture since ancient times. A lot has changed from the chariot races to our present day in which we can place online bets from the comfort of our own couches.

The modernized ways of betting make the experience much more convenient and accessible than ever before. The global online gambling and betting market was valued at US$50 billion and is expected to reach US$100 billion by 2026 (source: the Global Online Gambling & Betting Market Revenue)

The Global Online Gambling Market Share can be divided by regional zones. Europe has an overwhelming dominance of the global market share, accounting for around 53% of the global betting market, followed by Asia and North America. Regions such as Oceania, Africa and Latin America are still practically unexplored markets for this activity.

Countries That Bet The Most

When we think of games and casinos, generally, the city of Las Vegas comes into our minds. However,  the USA does not appear amongst the top gambling positions in terms of revenue. The most profitable countries for betting are: Australia, Singapore, Ireland, Finland and then, the United States (source: H2 Gambling Capital Consulting and published by  The Economist, 2017).

Losing Streak


Australians have developed a regional version of the slot machine called “Pokies” and have them scattered all over the country – from pubs, hotels and clubs to shopping centers and ATMs. Pokies are everywhere and are often the source of strong opinion – those that love them love them, and those that hate them “really” hate them. In recent years there has been an effort to curb their intrusiveness.

H2 Gambling Capital evaluated the loss in dollars on bets per adult in Australia. The country recorded $990 loss per individual in one year. This number is 40% higher than achieved in the same period then Singapore (in 2nd place).


Singapore only opened its first casino in 2010 but has since become one of the biggest gambling countries in the world. The Asian country has only one bookmaker (Singapore Turf) which is a household name to  the entire country and is even supported by the local government.

Rapid and expressive development in the sector took place after government backed adoption of gambling since the end of the 60s.The casino/resort model has attracted a considerable number of events and tourism, positioning the country in a prominent position both economically and in the betting sector.


Sports betting is a common pastime amongst Irish inhabitants but this has not always been the case. Gambling was prohibited for a long time until the Irish government relaxed the restrictions in an attempt to control illegal gambling and increase tax revenue.

The relaxation of gambling legislation has transformed Ireland from a small country into a key targets for online gambling and betting operators to base their head office establishments.


More than 41% of the adult population in Finland gambles weekly (source: the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.)

Finland has a high number of slots and gambling machines which are licensed to operate in various types of establishments.

The national lottery and sports betting companies are owned by the Finnish government. Revenues raised from gambling have been redirected into areas such as education, culture, social assistance and the arts. For this reason, gambling obtains massive support from the population. 

United States

The sports betting market does not operate freely across the United States. The casino market has been heavily regulated for a considerable amount of time. 

The American government management model works in a hybrid approach with some decisions taken by the Federal Government and other decisions at a local state level.  Sports betting has been fighting for legal regulation from state to state. For a number of years, only four states allowed legal sports betting. However, as of July 2022, that number has grown to twenty. The sports betting market of California has been estimated to be similar to the size of the European market. 

The future looks very interesting for sports betting in America given the size of the country, the natural fascination for sports and the economy of its immense population.