Worldwide Gambling Win Totaled $385 Billion in 2016, Australia Biggest Loser

Posted on: February 11, 2017, 02:30h. 

Last updated on: February 10, 2017, 01:19h.

Worldwide gambling wins totaled $385 billion in 2016, and while the United States generated the lion’s share of that statistic, Australia once again led the way in terms of average net loss per resident.

worldwide gambling losses Australia James Packer
No nationality loses more money per person gambling than James Packer’s Aussie constituents, but as far as the worldwide casino win goes, the US forks over the most cash. (Image: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

According to data obtained by The Economist, a weekly magazine headquartered in London that covers financial markets, the average Aussie lost $990 on gambling over the last 12 months. That’s considerably higher than runner-up Singapore, whose citizens lost roughly $650 per person.

In terms of per resident costs, Ireland is the world’s third-biggest loser ($500), followed by Finland ($425), and the United States ($420).

H2 Gambling Capital, a UK data and market intelligence firm that analyzes casino industries, assembled the worldwide gambling revenue report.

US Remains Gambling Superpower

Regardless of the fact that Australia leads the way in individual per person gambling, the country’s relatively small population of just 24 million citizens keeps the big casino power companies away.

Australians lost a total of $18.3 billion gambling last year. And while that’s a staggering sum, it pales in comparison to the United States and the $117 billion its citizens forfeited.

The majority of gambling losses incurred by Americans came at land-based casinos on slot machines and table games. Lotteries also played a substantial role.

What the H2 Gambling Capital study doesn’t include is of course underground wagering. Sports betting remains illegal in the US, with Nevada being the exception. Americans are estimated to have bet $117 billion on sports last year, with the vast majority taking place through illegal outlets.

China didn’t land in the top 15 in terms of gambling losses per resident, but the country’s massive population, the largest on planet Earth, spread out their damages. The Chinese saw $62.4 billion disappear from their wallets and into the hands of casino companies in 2016, the biggest loss behind only the US.

It’s worth pointing out that India and its 1.3 billion population didn’t fall victim to gambling. The massive nation spent less on betting than much smaller countries including Sweden, the Netherlands, and Singapore.

All Eyes on Japan

Though Japan is only now considering legalizing land-based casinos, the Pacific Ocean island nation still managed to drop $24.1 billion. Pachinko parlors, horse and automobile pari-mutuel wagering, and the wildly popular lottery grabbed the majority of bets placed in Japan.

With over 126 million residents, resort companies in the US are readying to make proposals to the Japanese government should it decide to permit the construction of casinos.

In December, Japan’s parliament passed the Integrated Resorts Promotion bill. The country’s legislators are now working to decide how many casinos will be authorized, as well as critical details such as tax rates and minimum investments from interested gaming businesses.

The stakes are astronomical. According to Hong Kong investment bank CLSA, if Japan were to legalize casinos nationwide, the market would be capable of producing annual revenues of $25 billion. That would put it behind only Macau as the richest gambling destination in the world.