World’s Biggest Gambling Losers by Country

Biggest Gambling Losers by Country

Just a couple of days ago we came across a hilarious advertisement of a Volkswagen Golf on Done Deal. A rather desperate Irishman had listed his car after losing it all during a lads’ holiday in Sin City, a.k.a Las Vegas.

That little story got us wondering, how much do people really lose? That question led to another question: which gambling countries lose the most? With the gambling industry thriving, people from all over the world seem to be enjoying different forms of gambling, be it slots, poker, casinos, or even just a lottery ticket.

The list that we have compiled will show you which countries gamble and lose the most. It features an extremely diverse mix of countries, some having invested in the industry decades ago, and some who just built casinos three years ago, yet nearly outgrossing the whole of the Las Vegas strip. 

10. Spain

Average gambling losses of $418 per adult

Spain - Highest gambling losses

Even though gambling was only legalized in 1981, the Spanish gambling industry has taken off ever since. The biggest share of gambling goes to sports betting, which accounts for almost 70% of the market. When it comes to lottery tickets, Spain offers one of the biggest prizes the world has ever seen – over one billion dollars in prizes. Yes, you heard that right, 1 BILLION. Approximately 80% of the adults in Spain buy this particular lottery ticket, costing them a staggering €200 per ticket. The only downside of gambling in Spain is that the government imposes a 20% tax on lottery winnings over €2500.

9. Greece

Average gambling losses of $420 per adult

Greece - Highest gambling losses

Since the end of 2009, Greece has been going through its most severe economy crisis. With a public debt of €317.1 billion, the bailout would cost the government of the country mass privatisations of the countries state assets. OPAP, the biggest gambling firm in Greece (also the biggest in Europe) was privatised, helping Greece to settle some of its debts. The people of Greece love to gamble via lottery tickets, with the Joker lottery offering a jackpot prize money of close to €20 million.

8. Norway

Average gambling losses of $448 per adult

Norway - Highest gambling losses

Some say that Norwegians have a passion for gambling. Others say they are just addicted. We, however, are a bit undecided. Believe it or not, the government of Norway says nearly 90% of Norwegians have been gambling all their lives. Currently, gambling in Norway is technically illegal. The government has taken drastic steps in curbing gambling, including blocking gambling sites on the internet and banning banks from allowing customers to use their debit/credit cards in any casinos around the world. Despite all the effort, these life-long passionate gamblers have still found ways to gamble, hence making it to this list.

7. Hong Kong

Average gambling losses of $503 per adult

Hong Kong - Highest gambling losses

The Hong Kong Jockey Club is the only gambling organisation in the Hong Kong that is authorised to operate. Strictly governed by the local authorities, the Hong Kong Jockey Club allows soccer betting, lotteries and horse racing. Being the biggest gambling organisation, the Hong Kong Jockey Club reports earning close to $3 billion every year. By far, the biggest factor that encourages the people of Hong Kong to gamble is the fact that Macau is just a stone throw away. It is estimated that two million Hong Kongers visit Macau every year for the sole reason of gambling.

6. Italy

Average gambling losses of $517 per adult

Italy - Highest gambling losses

Unlike other major gambling European countries like Greece and Norway, the Italians prefer gambling on slots compared to buying lottery tickets. As of late, gambling in Italy has grown exponentially, propelling the industry into becoming the largest in Europe. In all honesty, we would have definitely predicted Italy to be on this list, given that Italy has always been a pioneer in the gambling world. For instance, both the game Baccarat and the first government authorised casino originated in Italy.

5. Finland

Average gambling losses of $553 per adult

Finland - Highest gambling losses

Finland’s gambling system and regulations have fascinated us. Fully owned by the government, the organisation Veikkaus Oy is run by the Ministry of Education. Almost all the profits are then channelled towards the development in various fields, including science, education, arts, culture, and sports.

On top of that, unlike most other governments, Finland has never tried to curb gambling. On the contrary, they have always been working on improving the gambling system as a whole because the county benefits greatly from the earnings of this industry. Now, you may ask: does this not instill an unhealthy gambling problem within the society? To answer this question, if you are addicted to gambling, you will be able to receive up to 10 free therapy sessions with doctors.


Average gambling losses of $568 per adult

Canada - Highest gambling losses

The Canadians are more like the Americans when it comes to gambling. They usually prefer betting on and playing games that they have more control on, for example, Blackjack, Poker and sports betting. The gambling industry in Canada has developed so much over the years that the industry is now vital in contributing towards the growth of the economy. Gambling has grown so deeply into the Canadian society that parents buy their kids lottery tickets as Christmas presents. The government has initiated many campaigns to raise awareness to combat this issue.

3. Ireland

Average gambling losses of $588 per adult

Ireland - Highest gambling losses

In the late of the 19th century of the gold and silver rush, an important mining expression was born, the “Luck of the Irish”. Till today, this phrase is often used by the Irish gamblers. Paddy Power Casinos and Bookmakers have been thriving in the past decade as Irish people are absolutely head over heels for sports betting. To the Irish, sports betting is just not a bet, it is a way of life, and they are proud of it.

2. Singapore

Average gambling losses of $1,174 per adult

Singapore - Highest gambling losses

$1,174 is a huge upgrade in losses per adult compared to the previous countries in this list. Despite only introducing their very first casino in 2010, the industry has boomed so dramatically that the losses per person have overtaken those that of countries that have been in this industry for centuries. Though the regulations for casino entry are extremely strict for the citizens of Singapore (they have to pay a $100 entry fee), these Singaporeans turn a blind eye and gamble anyway.

1. Australia

Average gambling losses of $1,288 per adult

Australia - Highest gambling losses

Australians gamble on anything and everything. You know that these people are really into it when they even bet on whether their banks will increase the interest rates or not. An estimated 85% of Australians gamble, with their favourite being slot machines. The best incentive of gambling in Australia is that all your winnings are not taxed. New South Wales appears to be the most active state in gambling, featuring half of the 100,000 poker machines available in Australia.

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