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Gambling Industry Statistics in Recent Years

From player specific tendencies to the financial success of the gambling industry, our CasinoTop experts have collected all of the important data from the last few years and broken it down into small and more comprehensive chunks.

Whether you’re looking for the odds on a roulette spin, the equity of a pot to even an operator releasing its latest reports for each financial quarter, the gambling industry is always steeped in number and data. We recommend that our players consider the data to get a better understanding of how to bet smart.

Gambling as a Whole

Before we get into the details and numbers, let’s take a holistic look at the data we’ve collected and the gambling industry as a whole. The gambling industry is a large, varied and complex one but if you take a look beneath the surface, you’ll be surprised to find that the data makes for comprehensive and positive reading.

The most important statistic for many gamblers is how valuable the industry is as a whole. This can be measured by splitting the industry into two verticals, the live and online industries, to determine how much growth the gambling world has seen in the last few years.

From a regional perspective, the US and Chinese gambling markets have seen impressive growth.

Online Gambling (Billion)
Gambling Overall (Billion)

Online Gambling Statistics

Worldwide gambling statistics depict that around 26% of the human population engage in gambling activities. This translates to a total of around 1,6 billion gamblers from all over the world, while 4,2 billion people have shared that they gamble at least once annually. When it comes to demographics statistics and online gambling, a study was conducted in the UK that revealed that 17% of the population engaged in online gambling. This has allowed the online market in Europe alone to report a revenue of £5.3 billion.

A study conducted in 2016 in the US revealed very different results. According to the findings, 3% out of the 4,2 billion participants who indicated that they gamble, stated that gambled online regularly. However, it is likely that this number has increased significantly in the following years since the United States gambling industry was valued at $306,5 billion in 2018.

Individual Gambling Scale

It might come as a surprise to many but Australian players are leading the way in gambling on an individual scale. In 2014, Australian players gambled an average of $916 per person. Singapore took second place with an individual gambling average of $892,16 per annum. At this time, Singapore’s gambling industry was relatively young which contributed to the higher per-head average.

While the US is home to Las Vegas, American players hold a distant third place with an individual average of $505,44 being wagered each year. The US was followed by Ireland and it’s more liberal approach to gambling, reporting an average per-head average of $490,39 while the UK, with both an online and land based legalized gambling industry, reported an individual annual gambling spend of only $377,83.

Another top ten member worth noting is Malta. This is a small Mediterranean Island, with a proportionately small population. However, Malta reported the largest per-capita loss in the world. Malta is the home of a leading online gaming jurisdiction and authority body and serves as a base for many gambling affiliates and sites that provide their services worldwide.

Gambling Losses Per Adult (2014) (All in US dollars)
Gambling Losses per Country 2016 (USD, Billions)

The Global Gambling Industry

Traditionally speaking, numbers and statistics are known for being up to perspective and not interpretation. Below, we have provided data relating to global gaming losses but also to gambling wins for casino operators. With that being said, check out the breakdown for the top 10 places where visitors gambled.

Looking at the pie chart, you’re likely to have noticed that Macau leads the revenue per-head. However, Chinese nationals are not factored into our top ten list of regions with high gambling losses. The tourism business in Macau has been struggling in recent years but visitors of the region make sure that this former colony of the Portuguese thrives with its gambling industry.

Australia also ranked quite high, both in terms of revenue and losses. Australia boasts more pokie machines than most other countries while only having a fraction of its competitor’s populations.

Greatest Nation

When we consider gambling and how the industry works, all players should be treated equally. Your treatment and level of fairness provided should not be determined by the games you love, where you live or even how much you wager. In the end, all players are facing off against the casino when we bet online. However, some countries have managed to elevate their industries much more than others.

If you’re keen to know which country has a higher record of gambing activity, keep reading. As a result of the combination of innovation, efficient promotion and regulation, the UK, US, Macau, Australia and Canada have emerged as the world’s gambling superpowers and top destinations.

Below, we have listed these major players, according to rank, and delve deeper to find their secrets to their success.

1. Macau

Although gambling is illegal in mainland China, Macau is a gambling haven. 50% of Macau’s revenue is made up from gambling alone. In 2018 the city made almost $38 billion.

Stats for Macau
2. USA

The gambling industry in the US is worth $261 billion and holds 1.8 million jobs. Most of these are in Nevada as gambling is actually banned in most states.

Stats for the USA
3. UK

With legislation changes, the UK market is steadily growing. In 2018 the British gambling industry made £14.4 billion and it’s estimated that 32% of the population gamble weekly.

Stats for the UK
4. Australia

80% of the Australian population gamble. A recent study showed that they bet more than any other country, spending around $18 billion a year.

Stats for Australia
5. Canada

With a liberal approach to gambling, Canada makes CA$17.3 billion in revenue every year from gambling. The industry grew 4.9% in 2017 and is still growing.

Stats for Canada

1. Macau

Popular games: Casino

It’s no secret that mainland China has a love-hate relationship with the gambling industry and all related activities. China operates a state-run lottery that provides gaming opportunities for more than 1 billion nationals, but all other live and online gambling activities are strictly outlawed. The biggest conundrum that China faces today is what the government should do about Macau.

Macau was previously colonized by the Portuguese and established a thriving gambling industry. Macau’s casinos and gaming scene are renowned. Macau is defined as a Special Administrative Region of China today and while the region is not completely governed by the Beijing government, the former Portuguese colony has had to face immense pressure from China’s mainland to begin weaning the economy off the fruits of a thriving gambling industry.

How Macau is Governed:

The gambling industry in Macau is overseen, regulated and monitored by the Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ). The DIJC provides the Chief Executive of Macau support when drafting economic strategies and plans for the city of Macau.

There are more than 35 casinos in Macau today, including big names in the international industry, such as Melco Crown, Sands and Wynn.

Here are revenues from Macau in 2016:

  • January: 18,674 million MOP (MOP 23,478)
  • February: 19,521 million MOP (MOP 19,542)
  • March: 17,981 million MOP (MOP 21,487)
  • April: 17,341 million MOP (MOP 19,167)
  • May: 18,389 million MOP (MOP 20, 346)

In general, the gross gaming revenue in Macau has seen a decline. This is a result of the clampdown on cash that previously used to come from China’s mainland to the gaming city. Due to this, many casinos are now struggling and have been considering mass market entertainment to turn their fortunes around. If this does not work, high rollers are more than welcome to visit other top gaming destinations, such as the Philippines, Australia and Singapore.

2. The USA

Popular Games: Sports betting, casinos, poker, lottery, horse racing betting, bingo and DFS

Despite the success of Macau, the gambling industry in the US is still thriving, with Nevada leading the way as the state that legalized gambling first.

While most of the jurisdictions in the US have outlawed online gambling, many of them have created legislation that has legalized brick-and-mortar casinos on tribal reservations or for private companies. In addition, some state governments have established legal lotteries.

In 2013, New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware became the first three states in the country to regulate online gambling. Operators in Nevada are now allowed to operate online poker sites, while New Jersey and Delaware have established both online poker and casino offerings. The legalization of sports betting has been taking place all over the country since PASPA was overturned in 2018.

According to data collected by the UNLV, commercial casinos in the USA have seen a steady increase of players over the last few years.

Commercial casino gaming profits in the US:

According to the line graph above, you can see that Nevada still leads the way with a $11,113,830 share of the gambling market in the US while New Jersey has had a more difficult time. The state, which is home to Atlantic City, has seen land-based casino operators reporting a steady decrease in revenue from $5,2 million in 2006 to 2015’s $2,5 million.

New Jersey drafted legislation to legalize online gambling after the internet gambling laws were relaxed in 2013. The Garden State’s online gambling industry is run by the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

In 2017, the US gambling industry reported a gross revenue figure of $154,54 billion. In 2018, this increased to $161,24 billion. For 2017, the largest share of the revenue was generated by pari-mutuel betting operators while 2018 saw $430 million in revenue from bookmakers alone.

How US Gambling is Governed:

Casinos, sportsbooks and lotteries are governed by state governments. Sports betting is still banned in some regions but there has been an increase in the popularity of Daily Fantasy Sports betting. New Jersey and Nevada have legalized land-based gambling activities, with some allowance made for online operators. Both Florida and California are known for their thriving poker gaming industries despite the state government’s refusal to legalize online poker offerings.

3. The UK

Popular Games: poker, sportsbetting, bingo, lotteries, casino, horse racing betting, social gaming and mobile gaming

The UK is seen as one of the first established gambling markets in the world and is looked to as a leader of gambling regulation and rules thanks to the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Despite the issues that arise around problem gambling and preventative measures, the UK has consistently shared impressive revenue figures. From the size of the gambling market to the number of gambling outlets available in the UK, this country is undoubtedly one of the great gambling nations of the world.

The UK offers both land-based casinos and gaming in the form of poker rooms, national lotteries, casinos and bingo games, and online gambling with regulated internet operators.

Newly licensed casinos: 162 in 2014 alone

Virtual gaming machines: 171,134 between 2014 and 2015

Betting shops: 8,809 by March 2016

Total gambling industry revenue: £12.6 billion for 2014

Good cause contributions from operators: £195.7 million

Gambling Participation in the UK by Age

How UK Gambling is governed:

All gambling activities in the UK are regulated, monitored, licensed and overseen by the UKGC. This body was established in 2005 after the labour government relaxed gambling bans in the country.

The UKGC has been granted power to monitor, punish and issue licenses to gambling websites and gaming operators. As of 2014, all offshore operators who wished to provide their gaming services to players in the UK have been required to pay a Point of Consumption tax and must acquire a gaming license from the UKGC in order to be in the clear.

Online UK Gambling:

Online betting is hugely popular in the UK, with mobile and online betting activities contributing a Gross Gaming Yield of £710.19 million in 2012. Once new legislation was in place, this yield increased to £3.6 billion in 2015. UK citizens who are 18 and older are permitted to engage in gambling activities, at both land-based and online casinos.

In recent years, the UKGC has been investigating the controversy that has arisen around Fixed Odds Betting Terminals at bookmakers in the UK. These gaming machines offer up casino-style gaming experiences. Despite calls for the UKGC to note the significant player losses and requests to adjust betting limits, these machines bolster the UK betting industry.

Online Gambling Participation In the UK By Age

4. Australia

Australia has maintained its gaming dominance for more than a decade, having always been an innovator in terms of connecting gaming businesses and the larger community. Australia reported some excellent gambling statistics in recent years, thanks to a combination of pokies. This revenue has gone towards funding local sports, with Asian visitors frequenting live casinos and contributing to the thriving online economy.

The industry Down Under is dominated by controversial poker machines, or pokies as dubbed by locals. In addition to the brick-and-mortar casinos in Sydney and Melbourne, pokies are scattered throughout the country and can be found in clubs and pubs alike. In the west of Australia, only casino operators are allowed to offer pokies to players. However, there is a chance that this could change over time.

The latest figures out of Australia show that around 2,9 million Australian citizens, who are over the age of 18, have tried their luck on a pokie machine before. This is around 16% of Australia’s adult population. A further 42% of the population indicated that they engage in gambling activities once a week.

Sports Betting in Australia has also been on the rise. TAB, a state-run body, allows for Australian players to wager on a wide variety of local and international sports.

Distribution of Aussie gamblers by age (from 2011)
Distribution of Aussie gamblers by gender (from 2011)
Total gaming turnover (2013-2014)
Distribution of Aussie gamblers by age (from 2015)
Distribution of Aussie gamblers by gender (from 2015)

The industry Down Under is dominated by controversial poker machines, or pokies as dubbed by locals. In addition to the brick-and-mortar casinos in Sydney and Melbourne, pokies are scattered throughout the country and can be found in clubs and pubs alike. In the west of Australia, only casino operators are allowed to offer pokies to players. However, there is a chance that this could change over time.

The latest figures out of Australia show that around 2,9 million Australian citizens, who are over the age of 18, have tried their luck on a pokie machine before. This is around 16% of Australia’s adult population. A further 42% of the population indicated that they engage in gambling activities once a week.

Sports Betting in Australia has also been on the rise. TAB, a state-run body, allows for Australian players to wager on a wide variety of local and international sports.

How Australia’s Gambling Industry is Governed:

Each state government in Australia has been given the authority to allow local operators to provide poker machines to the masses. Tabcorp and Tatts have a monopoly on live sports betting and lottery in Victoria.

In Australia, the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) of 2001 was recently revised to make so-called "in-play" sports betting illegal. Some online sports betting firms, mostly licensed in the Northern Territory, are allowed to operate in Australia but online casinos are prohibited. Many offshore online gambling offerings in other countries continue to accept Australian players.

5. Canada

Canada has profited from its open attitude to gambling and has become a hub for a variety of online gaming operators and software companies alike (unlike its North American neighbour). The Canadian gambling sector has grown to become one of the world's major gambling regions as a result of its unique combination of innovation and regulation.

Canada is home to massive land-based casinos in British Columbia and Ontario and is considered to be one of the most important internet gambling jurisdictions in the world of gambling today. The KGC (Kahnawake Gaming Commission), which licenses online casinos and poker sites, is based in Kahnawake, just outside of Montreal, Canada.

Number of Canadian gaming areas: 34,955
Frequency of millennials that visit casinos:

  • 1-2 times a year- 53%
  • 1-3 times every five months – 17%
  • Minimum of once a month – 19%

Average Spend per visit:

  • Poker – CA$53
  • Craps/Roulette – CA$50
  • Blackjack – CA$50
  • Slots – CA$50
  • Casino bar – CA$25
Number of gaming areas in the Canadian gambling industry
Number of times millennials visited casinos as of Jan 2014
Average spend per player per casino visit (CAD)
Number of venues and designated gaming areas in the Canadian gambling industry (2015-2016)
Activity Participation – Casino Visitors – Mean Spend (2015-2016)

At least 76 percent of adult Canadians are thought to indulge in some type of gambling. In 2017, that percentage accounted for over 30 million Canadians. (The precise figure is 29,650,033). The betting industry in Canada is believed to be worth more than $15.5 billion each year.

The Statistics of the Best

While Australia, the UK, Canada and Macau seem to be achieving the most success in the industry right now, this doesn’t mean that other countries don’t have great gaming options available.

Before we conclude sharing all of our statistics, here are some noteworthy figures from some of the world’s emerging regions:

  • Despite the Singaporean gambling industry being relatively young, 44% of Singapore’s nationals, over the age of 18, have engaged in gambling activities.
  • Germany ranks ninth for per capita wins in the worldwide industry. German players win an average of $115 individually each year.
  • Russia reported an annual gambling loss figure of $2,7 billion in 2013.
  • Macau attracted 31,5 million visitors to it’s live casino gaming hub in 2014.
  • 3,9 million Spanish players registered for online gaming sites in 2014.
  • Japanese gamblers spent an average of $31 billion on gambling in 2013. This is likely a result of its large population of 127 million.

The Rise of Social Casinos

The global social casino market was valued at $3.81 billion in 2016. Since 2013, the social casino market has expanded at a CAGR of +23%. By 2017, the social casino industry was predicted to generate $4.4 billion in revenue. Analysts forecast that the industry will reach $4.63 billion in CY20, representing a 5% CAGR over the next four years.

173 million social gamers were reported worldwide in 2015.

Playtika remained the top social casino publisher in 2016, with a market share of 25.4 percent, followed by SciGames Interactive with 8.4 percent and Zynga with 8.1 percent. The top three companies together accounted for 42 percent of the total market for social casino games, while the top 15 companies accounted for around 83 percent.

2016’S Top Social Casino Publishers

Rank Company Key Titles Revenue (millions) Market Share
1PlaytikaSlotomania, House of Fun, Bingo Blitz, WSOP, CZR Casino$946.824,9%
2zyngaZynga Poker, Hit it Rich!, Wizard of Oz Slots, Black Diamond$324.18.5%
3sg-gamingJackpot Party Casino, Gold Fish Casino, Quick Hits, Hot Shots$298.87.8%
4Igt-gaming-logoDoubleDown Casino$279.27.3%
5aristocrat-logoHeart of Vegas, FaFaFa - Real Casino Slots, Hollywood Spins$224.65.9%
6gsn-games-logoBingo Bash, GSN Casino, Fresh Deck Poker, Mirrorbal$184.94.9%

North America has remained the largest social casino market in the world, with reports confirming that the niche reached $1,7 billion. This was closely followed by markets in Europe and Asia.

Across Australia, the UK and the US, about 37 percent of all mobile and pc players enjoy social casino gaming titles, such as poker, slots, bingo, baccarat, roulette and blackjack. It comes as no surprise that slots dominated and is the most popular social casino gaming genre, with 53% of players engaging with games for this genre.

The Most Popular Games

Slots/ Casino Games

Casino gambling is frequently lumped in with a broader "betting" category that also includes bingo and the lottery. However, casino gambling increased from 35.1 percent in 2007 to 35.1 percent in 2013.

According to the most recent statistics, nearly half of all casino visitors in the United States (48%) played slots, with only 16 percent playing blackjack while 6 percent headed for the poker tables. Roulette accounted for only 5% of all popular games.

The popularity of mobile gambling and online slots has resulted in a slew of big winners and new players. Progressive jackpots have been responsible for doling out several life-changing wins in recent years, with players winning jackpots ranging from $5 million to $7 million each.

Sportsbetting

Sportsbetting is a multibillion-dollar industry that has seen success in many regions of the world. The unregulated sports betting market in Asia, on the other hand, suggests that the business as a whole could be worth many billions more. Illegal betting syndicates in China, and elsewhere, have allowed for fortunes to be made and lost on sporting events.

In the global market, regulated sportsbetting accounted for $58 billion. In 2016, that sum is expected to surpass $77 billion.

Poker

Since its heyday in the early 2000s, online poker has grown in popularity. The closure of US-facing websites has resulted in a decrease in internet traffic. Even in licensed markets, online poker is losing ground. This is despite an overall increase in the number of people who gamble in live cardrooms.

The biggest prizes are still up for grabs, with the winner of the World Series of Poker main event taking home between $7 and $10 million after each tournament. The most popular online tournaments get enough participants to offer million-dollar first prizes.

Lottery

Many countries allow lotteries, even if regular betting and casino-style gambling are prohibited. According to the EGBA, lotteries' percentage of overall online gaming will increase from 2.3 percent in 2013 to 4 percent in 2016.

The National Lottery in the United Kingdom raises funds for good causes while also providing participants with the opportunity to win large sums of money. Lottery payouts increased by 22% between 2012 and 2015, from £3.38 billion in 2012 to £4.13 billion in 2015.

Bingo

There are an estimated 100 million online bingo players worldwide, with 70-80 percent of them being women between the ages of 30 and 50. In 2015, the online bingo sector generated £128.64 million in gross gaming revenue from UK consumers alone, accounting for 3% of the total online gambling market.

The iGaming Equation

As the statistics depict, the global gambling industry is currently booming. From Canadian live casinos to the online betting offers in Spain, the number of players who are willing to take a chance and test their luck is slowly increasing.

Despite the fact that the global recession and regulatory difficulties have slowed the growth of the gaming sector in recent years, the overall balance sheet remains positive. Indeed, as we move forward, technological advancements such as mobile casinos, live dealer games, and, potentially, virtual reality are assisting in driving annual revenue to new heights.

Regardless of whether you’re a player, an operator or just someone who loves analyzing numbers, the online and land-based gambling industry will continue to prove why it is considered to be one of the most vibrant and popular pastimes in the world.

Future Predictions

There is likely no other industry in the world today that can match the speed with which online gambling has grown. Innovation is gaining hold all around the world, with more companies than ever vying for player attention and more individuals betting as a result.

Given the current state of global gambling, everyone is looking ahead. But, as most people can attest, projecting the future of the gaming industry is no simple task. We've broken down the facts to give you a heads up on what's to come, to help make the situation a bit clearer.

Predicted Value

The staggering size of the casino sector in 2017 is instantly obvious, with a forecasted value of $635 billion in the following years. When delving deeper into this statistic, it's important to consider the two major drivers of casino gambling growth: the United States and the United Kingdom. Cash sales are forecast to reach $21.14 billion in the United States, while online gambling revenue is expected to reach $4 billion in the United Kingdom. These two estimates alone indicate that the global gaming market will expand by 5.7 percent by 2022.

The expansion of casino games in general is enormous, but almost all of it has occurred in the online realm. Apart from a few select places, land-based casino play is still on the decline, as it has been in recent years. We can only expect the online casino business to continue to outperform land-based enterprises as new internet markets open up.

European Lead

Europe is the greatest market for online gambling, which should come as no surprise considering how open-minded European countries are with regards to gambling regulations. During 2015, the EU market accounted for 47.6% of the €34.6 billion in online gaming gross win (stakes minus winnings) generated globally. While the success of online gambling in Europe is well-known, the continent's level of innovation, particularly through the emergence of effective casino platforms, is allowing it to be viewed as the leader in gaming.

However, the fragile political situation since Brexit could raise a few concerns about how measures to protect the economy could affect Europe’s future in gambling.

Macau’s Contributions

Macau's gambling tendencies have always been well-known, and data have shown that gambling activity on Chinese shores is only increasing despite the government's attempts to achieve the opposite effect. Macau casino revenue continues to expand at a steady 1.1 percent per month year over year. This puts Macau on track to exceed its 2017 gross gaming revenue objectives.

It could reach $53 billion by 2022, according to current figures based on infrastructure, visitation, and increased spending growth. This information comes from Morgan Stanley's "Macau 2022 - Power of Compounding" research. "We believe the quality of growth will be stronger," the analyst writes in the study, "since more than 80% of the predicted profit should originate from the mass market category. He went on to write that the opening of the bridge that connects Macau and Hong Kong was a game-changing and smart infrastructural development.

Considering the consistent and strong growth figures that Macau has posted, it might be the only other city in the world, besides Las Vegas, that is seeing land-based gambling flourish.

Australia’s Slow Increase

When it comes to the state of global gambling, the levels of gambling in the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Japan have all been widely documented. What will be less clear is Australia's contribution to the industry's expansion. According to statistics, the average loss per gambler in Australia far exceeds that of other countries, coming in at just under $1,000. Singapore is ranked second on the list, with an average loss of $650 per adult.

Australia will undoubtedly play a role in the future of online casino gaming, with its players eager to part with higher-than-average quantities of disposable income along the way.

Increasing Number of Female Gamblers

Another key element that needs to be addressed outside of nation-by-nation advancement is the amount of women who have taken up gambling and now play a larger part in profit margins than ever before. According to figures released by UKGC, women currently account for almost 40% of all gambling activity in the UK.

Games like bingo have long been popular with women, but it appears that as time goes on, more and more of them are moving on to other games and genres