Global Gambling Statistics & Facts 2020

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Numbers can be identified as a constant presence in the world of gambling. However, it is not only to calculate the odds of a sports event or the chances of a roulette game that they are useful. One year after the other, relevant information on revenue, evolution, and expenses is published.

We believe that everyone, from casinos to players, should get hold of that precious knowledge. That way, it is possible to identify if people are gambling responsibly and whether the industry is improving or not. As always, our team of specialists endeavors their best efforts to make sure everything is detailed in a simple manner.

Gambling Statistics for 2020 – Quick Overview

General Gambling Stats & Facts

In order to better explain and show how the entire gambling industry is evolving, we created charts and graphics for your visualization. We are sure you are curious to understand how the data above looks like when illustrated.

🌎 Gambling Around the World

It is clear that there is a lot of people gambling from the three-digit billion figure. However, let us get familiarized with how the revenue is divided for both general and online gambling.

All the years with an “E” added to them represent that there is still not enough data to state the total gambling revenue. Keep in mind the losses from 2019 onwards represent the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Those with an (*) indicate that such values may never occur, as the 2019 levels may not recover before 2023.

It is also noteworthy that all information regarding estimation was not correct, even before the crisis. Mostly, institutions and consultancy companies would estimate 4-6% growth on a yearly basis. The fact is, they would mostly overestimate the increase in revenue, usually 3-4x lower than expected.

Even so, disregarding the pandemic impact, it is a fact that gambling is growing all around the world. If it were not for Covid-19, we could expect levels at least near US$500 billion by 2023.

Talking about estimates, 2019 was expected to generate US$ 43.2 billion for the online gambling sector. Our sources state that it managed to reach over US$ 53 billion. In other words, it seems that online gambling has the capacity to surpass estimates, and general gambling, the opposite.

🤵 How Many People Are Gambling?

All that money comes from gamblers all around the world: North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and every country that allows online gambling or land-based casinos and lotteries. Therefore, it would be great to know how many people are gambling.

On the other hand, although some websites create estimates out of nowhere, we prefer to be honest. We count on studies and reports to bring you the following facts related to the biggest gambling markets:

General and Online Gambling Revenue (US$ billion)

Even though it may look as if that information is simply for curiosity purposes, there is more to it than meets the eye. It is a known fact to online gamblers that responsibility has to be part of their lives, as it may become an addiction. Knowing how many people gamble and their behavior is how authorities can identify if there are issues that need regulation or help.

🃏 What Are People Gambling on the Most?

Around 20% of the world population gamble at some point in their lives and that number seems to be increasing – especially thanks to online gambling. But what are they gambling on the most?

Those who have bet on sports may just as well purchase a lottery ticket, for they are guessing well. In fact, sports betting has been the main choice of gamblers for almost 15 years now, according to the most recent data:

Gamblers' Favorites

Both sports betting and casino have grown from 2007 to 2017, while skill and poker betting lost their favoritism. Also growing but in much smaller proportions are the lottery games. It is important to highlight that those proportions above do not reflect the total number of players, but the total spent on them.

In terms of casinos, slots are the most famous casino game in all three English-speaking countries U.S., UK, and Australia. The most recent estimate is that it is the preference of 53% of all social casino players. However, that is an aggregate comparative that does not survive an individual check:

💵 How Much Are People Spending on Gambling?

So now we know where people are spending their money, but not how much. Our “General and Online Gambling Revenue (US$ billion)” chart gives a general and more updated idea of that amount. However, we also got some details from some countries for those of you who are really interested in the specifics:

New Zealand Expenditure for 2016

In millions of NZD dollar

UK Expenditure for 2017-18

In billions of pounds

Australia Expenditure for 2017

In billions of AUD

Another interesting fact is that gamblers who can already be considered as problematic gamble around £98 a day.

💵 Gambling Losses

Gambling can be a great source of fun, as long as it is taken in a responsible manner. Checking the total gambling losses not only per region but also per adult is a great indicator of responsibility. Lack of control or simply a dedication to a source of entertainment are divided by a fine line, which is why we have gambling commissions and regulators all over the world.

Gambling Losses Per Adult (US$) in 2017

Gambling Losses Per Adult (US$) in 2017

Our graph clearly indicates that Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore adults spent far more than gamblers from the rest of the world, on average. Contrary to popular beliefs, the United States got the 9th place in the Top 10 gambling losses.

💵 Why do Australian adults spend far more on gambling?

It may not be 100% accurate, saying that gambling is part of the Australian culture, but it is definitely embraced by most Aussies. Brands and casinos advertise everywhere, so it is quite impossible to keep yourself entirely away from gambling. In statistic terms, most of the expenditures are on the famous pokies, or slot machines. In fact, 20% of all registered slot machines are found in Australia.

Sports betting is also increasing there, but it is definitely the huge availability and the high additivity of pokies that explain an average of $958 loss per Australian adult gambler.

As for the other countries, the high losses per adult in gambling are resulting in some contrary efforts. In Singapore, the government is taxing and adding fees even to entering a casino, in order to diminish that number. To this point, it seems not to have the effect they were expecting.

💵 Gambling losses per country

The countries that lead the loss per adult statistics are not necessarily those with the highest gambling losses. After all, there might be many more people gambling less, but still summing up to higher losses. That is what our next chart will reveal:

Top Countries in Gambling Losses

Therefore, even though the USA is not one of the countries with the biggest losses per adult, it has the second position when we consider the entire country amount. Also, for those interested in the latest data from other countries, we managed to collect some of them:

Losses Per Country

In billions of US dollar for accountable year

In terms of growth, it is expected that the Asia-Pacific and Africa regions will be responsible for pushing forward gambling growth. Forecasts estimate annual growth with rates of around 8%.

As for the gambling categories, sports betting continues to grow at an annual rate of 7%. Online gambling, on the other hand, is not the favorite in terms of percentage growth. It seems that VR betting should take that position from now to 2022, at an average rate of 21.5% every year.

As a matter of fact, virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies have everything to change the way we see casinos. The best part is that the whole new experience can be applied to both land-based and online casinos, with their own specific setups.

Until it becomes really popular, we still continue to be able to bet on live events online and check new slots/pokies release on a weekly basis.

💵 Global Gambling Revenues 2020

When the 2020 global gambling results finally come, it is expected that we will see a large drop in terms of revenue. At the same time, the online gambling market is expected to have grown about 13.2% by the time 2020 is past gone. An estimated total of US$ 66.7 billion as revenue can be attributed to the pandemic, which made gamblers stay at home for a long period.

That market comprises all the gambling activities performed in a remote manner, through desktops and mobile devices. It embraces:

In another optimistic but still reasonable forecast, that same market is expected to reach US$92.9 billion in 2023, still growing at rates above 10% every year. Therefore, from 2020 on, online gambling will acquire an increasing relevance in the global gambling market.

💵 Coronavirus Impact

Current forecasts estimate that gambling revenues should expect something of the order of US$80 billion less in 2020 than in 2019. That impact results from the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, including shutdowns. Most of those losses would come from the Asian market, around US$29 billion (36%), as it is also the largest gambling market.

💵 Impact on GGR by Regions and Games

The gaming world goes from simple casual apps to actual gambling titles, such as the popular online slots. Between December 2019 and March 2020, the gambling games were almost as popular (36%) than the shooter games (40%), which are increasingly popular. That is causally related to the fact that people were trying to find entertainment options when at home.

Shutdown and quarantine measures were responsible for affecting gambling activities that represent 60% of the total gambling revenue. It began in January, applied to Chinese lotteries, but it was only by March that casinos across Europe and North America were affected.

Fortunately, restrictions are changing, and we barely hear about shutdowns now. In the chart below, we specified in a visual manner how each region would be impacted, as per current expectations, in terms of gross gambling revenue.

Coronavirus Impact on Gambling

Europe and North America will account for losses of similar magnitude, around US$20 billion. In total, the 2020 estimate is of US$380.4 billion as the total revenue. As previously stated in this article, we should expect to see a recovery by 2021/2022.

💵 Losses by Regions

Each region was affected in a certain manner, depending on the gambling public and the main activities responsible for most of the revenue. Therefore, we listed the main impacts at the beginning and during the worst period – in terms of restrictions – of the pandemic:

🃏 Social Gambling

After all that information on growth, forecasts, and demographic data on gambling, there is another movement we should pay attention to. It is called social gambling, and it is increasingly popular, especially in pandemic times.

In summary, it joins people from all around the world to bet together. Most of the time, they play with free and costless chips, involving no money transfer. However, there can be prizes, tournament awards, and the purchase of some features the players consider necessary.

The most popular social casino franchises are:

Slots
Big Fish Casino

It gets its new players 100,000 chips for free​

Slots
Bingo Bash

Website and app with free bingo plays​

Slots
777 Slots Casino

Social slot games

Slots
Bingo blitz

Another one focused on bingo, with many social rooms

Slots
Zynga Poker

An alternative to those who do not want ordinary poker sites

In all three main English-speaking countries (the US, the UK, and Australia), 53% of the social casino users prefer slots (pokies). As already stated in this article, there are some differences connected to bingo and card games between those countries.

While it is an option never to invest money in such games, 45% of the respondent players indicated to a study they have already spent money on them. Interestingly, high rollers on those ground are those who spend around $25 per month, which is comparable to any casual game with in-app purchases.

Some of them even carry out such transactions with cryptocurrency, although they still represent a minor percentage of the total. Social gambling is a great alternative to simply playing the demo version of casino games for free – and is becoming more popular.

📱 Mobile Gambling

Mobile gambling is possible through the simple access of websites through a browser or via apps located in official stores or with a downloadable APK. For instance, in the United States, gambling & lottery apps represented 9.3% of all searches in app categories – and that includes social applications – in 2019.

As individual access and use of data for apps and mobile gambling, in general, are difficult to gather from operators, it is not so easy to analyze. However, we know it is directly related to online gambling and that most people gambling on online casinos and sportsbooks will use their mobile phones.

As of 2015, 40% of mobile users were using mobile applications to place bets. In total, that would represent a total of 20% of all bets. One year before that (2014), the revenue estimation of bets from mobile devices was of US$11.4 billion (worldwide). Future forecasts indicate a total of US$53.73 billion revenue by 2025, coming from the mobile gambling market alone.

Nowadays, the European market is responsible for a share of 57% in the mobile gambling market. The Asia-Pacific region, however, is the fastest-growing region. In the future, the number of apps may increase, and perhaps mobile gambling will be used together with VR technology.

Top Gambling Centers

We selected four top gambling centers – or centres, depending on your choice – and their most relevant stats. We could get to know the following countries and their respective information on gamblers, licensed operators, and revenue through the most recent data:

1️⃣ United Kingdom

Quick Summary:

Casino Games
Top gambling activities

National lotteries, casino slots, and football and horse racing bets

Bar Char
Current gambling premises

9,745 (-9.6%) – Betfred almost doubled its numbers over the past 10 years

Guy
Average age

The majority of its online gamblers are 35-44 years old

Doc
Number of licensed activities

3,641 (2019)

Revenue
Total revenue

£14.3 (-0.5%)

Activity
Activity with higher yield

Online casinos

Gambling in the UK is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, responsible for such activity since 2005. The whole industry moved £14.3 billion in a year (Oct 2018 to Sep 2019), which is not much different from the previous period. It is divided in the following manner:

Online Gambling
Online gambling

£5.5 billion (online sports betting: £2.1 billion, mostly football and horse racing; online casino betting: £3.2 billion, mostly slots)

Money
Regular betting

£2.8 billion

Lottery
National lotteries

£3.18 billion, destining £96 to good causes

Wheel
Common lotteries

£572 million

Keno
Land-based betting

£2.8 billion (52.1% machines)

Bingo
Bingos

£668 million / £198 million for online bingos

It is also noteworthy that licensed activities decreased to 3,641, a minor setback of 0.4%, given to 2,652 operators (-1.3%). The number of licenses decreased mostly because of the increase in online betting and casino offers.

Also, since April 2019, the maximum stake for B2 machines was severely reduced (£100 to £2), which should explain some of the negative impacts.

Demographically, the online gamblers of the UK are divided into the following manner:

Age Group of UK Online Gamblers

Participation in 2020

Age Group of UK Online Gamblers

Back in 2016

2️⃣ Australia

Quick Summary:

Casino Games
Top gambling activities

Pokies (slots), lotteries, sports betting (namely horse and greyhound racing)

Revenue
Total revenue

AUD$24.88 billion (2017-2018, +5.0%)

Bar Char
Current gambling premises

Varies per state

Activity
Activity with higher yield

Electronic gaming (AUD$12.5 billion)

Australia is probably the country within this whole article where the entire territory better accepts gambling. Statistically speaking, around 80% of the Aussies enjoy gambling now and then, resulting in around 10% of the state’s revenues. We can inform they are divided the following way:

Keno
Non-remote gambling

AUD$12.52 billion (+3.2%)

Casino Games
Casino games

AUD$5.10 billion (+6.5%)

Horse
Race betting

AUD$3.54 (+7.1%)

Sports betting
Sports betting

AUD$1.23 billion (+16.3%!)

The latest demographical information on Aussie gamblers and players gives us a great picture of what that public looks like:

The stats confirm that the majority of Australian gamblers are 30-49 years old and that there is little difference when it comes to gender. However, while the distribution in terms of age did not seem to change much over the years, that cannot be said regarding gender.

Back in 2011, women represented only 7.2% of all gamblers. Now, they correspond to an incredible 45.8%, getting closer to their proportion to men in terms of population (51% and 49%, respectively).

Age Groups of Regular Gamblers 2005 (%)

Gender of Regular Gamblers

3️⃣ Canada

Quick Summary:

Casino Games
Top gambling activities

Lottery, slots, sports betting, online casinos

Revenue
Total revenue

US$ 13.5 billion (2017)

Bar Char
Current gambling premises

Varies per province

Activity
Activity with higher yield

Casinos ( US$5.85 billion)

Canada’s provinces have their own legislation and regulation on casinos, while online gambling is much easier to access for Canadians. The most successful gambling activity in some provinces, however, is definitely the lottery:

Lottery Sales (in CAD$)

Together with the lotteries, we collected some data related to the percentage of casino visitors who are fond of slot machines. According to over 1,000 respondents in the year of 2015, their preference for slots was:

How Often Do Canadians Play Slots When Visiting a Casino?

If we compare those results from 2015 to the Ipsos Reid Lottery & Gaming study (2013), there is a considerable difference. Back then and according to their respondents, 49% would always play slot machines.

Finally, the best way to identify how Canadians gamble is to create a scenario considering both age distribution and their preferable gambling choice. Keep in mind that, although lotteries are extremely popular, it is within casinos that most revenue is found since 2017:

Gambling Preference by Age Group Canada (%)

4️⃣ United States

Quick Summary:

Casino Games
Top gambling activities

Lotteries, casinos, and card rooms

Revenue
Total revenue

US$240 billion (US$43.61 billion from casinos)

Bar Char
Current gambling premises

465 casinos – allowed in 23 states

Activity
Activity with higher yield

Lottery (US$80 billion)

There is no living soul that can think of a casino and not relate it to Las Vegas. Just as it happens in other countries, its states are free to legislate and regulate most of what is linked to gambling. That results in different scenarios within the same country.

Recently, in 2018, the ban on sports betting was lifted,  and that led to an expected increase in the participation of that type of gambling in the US. A survey in March 2020 discovered that 13% of over 2,100 U.S. respondents were betting on sports.

Even so, the lotteries are responsible for the majority of the revenue connected to gambling in the U.S. It represents almost the double collected by casinos as of the date. We created an original graph comparing both the most profitable gambling options in the US:

Casino x Lottery Revenue (US$ billion)

While Nevada’s huge contribution to the casino revenue comes from Las Vegas, some states do not contribute at all. Perhaps, if every single state in the United States allowed casinos, that difference between lotteries and casinos would change.

The latest data on the age group of casino visitors in the US is a bit old (2010), but will be informed as a way to compare to the other countries:

Age Group of Casino Visitors in the US

Casino Games
Casino games

Either on real casinos or online social gambling, slots are the most popular choice among players in many countries worldwide. In fact, it represents most of the revenue in New Zealand, in the UK, and especially in Australia (usually called pokies). Canadians are also known to play slots when visiting a casino, but there is no data available on their online behavior.

Sports betting
Sports betting

The biggest representative sector in terms of online gambling is sports betting. Together with the casino games, it is also one of the favorites when we take total expenditure into consideration. Even with that participation, it continues to grow at incredible rates every year - 7%. Recently, some US states allowed it, which has already been reflected in gambling behavior there.

Poker and card games
Poker and card games

Together with blackjack, poker is one of the most famous card games around the world. It counts with special legislation in some countries and several worldwide tournaments. There are even websites specialized in promoting poker rooms with real gambling and nothing else. The United States and the UK are the top gambling countries with the highest participation of poker among its favorite options.

Lottery
Lottery

One of the most remarkable notions provided by this article is the importance of lotteries – especially where gambling is not legal in every manner. Their easy access and cheap cost made the lotteries represent the higher revenue in the United States when it comes to gambling: US$80 billion. In the online gambling world, each time, more lottery agents are offering access to lotteries worldwide.

Bingo
Bingo

One of the most versatile gambling options is bingo. It has its electronic versions played online and in land-based casinos, called video bingos, besides live rooms with players from all around the world. Now, with social gambling, it is becoming increasingly popular.

🎰 Interesting Facts about Gambling

Machine
The first slot machine

was invented in 1891, but it was similar to what we know today as video poker. The classic 3-reel slot was invented a little bit later, in 1895.

Jackpot
The largest jackpot

in history (US$39,713,982.25) for slot machines was paid back in 2003. It occurred in the Excalibur Hotel-Casino, Las Vegas.

Lottery
A gambling syndicate in Australia

bought in 1992 virtually all possible combinations in a Virginia lottery. Their $5 million investment resulted in winning $27 million.

Lightbulb
Nikola Tesla

became addicted to gambling and lost his allowance and tuition money playing card games, which is why he never finished college.

Casino Games
Gambling is illegal in China

since 1949, but it is legal in Macau's autonomous region

Guy
Around 1.6 billion people

gamble throughout the year.

FAQs

It depends on the country. While lotteries represent the majority of gambling revenue in the US, it loses to pokies/slots in New Zealand, the UK, and Australia.

Online gambling usually does not include taxes and fees on winnings. The casinos’ profit tends to be included in their odds (for sports) or in the chances of their high-quality games.

Social games are much more a source of entertaining and fun than a profitable distraction. Even so, companies may install tournaments with prizes for its members.

According to our research, Australia is the country responsible for the greatest loss per adult in terms of gambling.

Although it has been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the overall gambling market reached a value of US$ 435 billion in 2019 alone. Meanwhile, online gambling has been increasing and reached a record amount of over US$53 billion.

Summary

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