Global Gambling Industry Statistics | Facts & Trends

Global Gambling Industry Statistics | Facts & Trends

Gambling opportunities have grown immensely over the past years, making it a common practice in Canada, as seen in many others. The rise has been catalyzed mainly by new technology in the gambling sector, including sports betting and online slots.

With over 19.3 million active users, Canadians have made it a leading industry in its economy. Provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario have prompted growth in their market to reach many online gamers. Statistics show that Canada ranks eighth in global online gambling industry spending, with at least C$4bn going to offshore operators.

📈 General Gambling Market Statistics



As a leading industry in Canada, online gambling trends show a high flow of money in and out. In 2020, the sector had a total of $12.75 billion in market size, while in 2021, the market registered a decrease of $210 million. In the same year, the gains drawn from the Canadian casino market were $2.64b. 45% of the money came from online gamblers. It is believed that the sector could bring in higher revenue if not for the requirement for online sites to acquire licenses from the provincial government.

The sector is largely diverse, attracting numerous offshore investors. These investors make the sector promising for the future and likely to increase income. Companies like Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, IGT, and PURE Canadian Gaming, all based in Toronto, Canada, are global casino leaders. This means that the sector attracts revenue from within the country and internationally.

The gambling sector in Canada has over 19.3 million active users. At least 56% of men and 43% of women have participated in online gambling in Canada. The number continually increases as almost two-thirds of Canadians above 15 reported gambling as of 2022. Gamers across the globe represent 26% of the total population.

In most states, gambling begins in the teenage as low as 15 and increases in the early 20s, running a risk of addiction. As most players advance in age, the habit decreases. Many studies also show a high prevalence of gambling among certain races. Blacks record the highest number, followed by Hispanics and Asians.

🗺️ Top Gambling Countries Ranked

Gambling stats show that the global gambling economy attained a market size of $230.9 billion in 2021 and has been rising. Every year, it has been exceeding market expectations, and statistics in various regions have evidenced this. The leading region, Asia-Pacific, recorded a GGR of $116.47bn, followed by Europe and America with €87.2bn and $29.98bn, respectively. Nearly half of the returns come from online gambling.


In China, gambling is illegal, with most live dealer games and online gambling being outlawed in the state. It is, however, lucrative, making up 50% of Macau’s revenue. This gambling haven made up to $38 billion in 2018 and has fluctuated since. It boasts 43 casinos and numerous online gaming sites.

Number of casinos in Macao

Gambling in Macau is governed by The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ). The regulatory body also supports the Chief Executive of Macau in organizing the city’s economic plans.

With the growth in infrastructure, rising spending, and visitations, the sector was estimated to rise higher in 2023. Monthly proceeds have been steady at 1.1% as follows;

January- $18,674 million,
February- $19,521 million,
March- $17,981 million,
April- $17,341 million,
May- $18,389 million.

Macau has a small population of 680,000, with the average player aged 36. In 2012, the age limit rose from 18 to 21, and the city enforced this law to ensure qualified players.


Canada, unlike China, takes a liberal approach to gambling, with the sector being amongst its leading sources of income. Gambling statistics in Canada show that the economy makes up to $17.3 billion in revenue. In 2017, the Canadian gambling industry recorded a rise of 4.9%, with more than 35,000 casinos.

Almost two-thirds of the population (18.9 million) in Canada from the age of 15 engage in gambling. The Canadian gambling statistics in 2019 showed that 65% of Canadians play the lottery. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) is responsible for licensing and regulating Canadian online casinos.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom has a gradually growing gambling economy owing to legislation changes by the UK Gambling Commission. The majority of the gambling population in the UK is aged between 45-54 years, while the least is 18-24. Every week, the business records a number of gamblers, 32% of the population.

As of 2014-2015, the British gambling sector had over 170,000 online slot machines and 162 newly licensed online casinos. In the same period, the income from gambling was $15.17 billion. All gambling in the United Kingdom, whether online or in landbased casinos, is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. This regulatory body was created in 2005 after the government decided to legalize gambling.


Australia has maintained its dominance in the sector owing to local sports funding, a thriving online gambling economy, and Asian tourists in their land-based casinos. With an 18+ age limit, the gambling community represents 80% of the Australian population.

Most gamers are aged 45 and above, with 43.2% being male, 35.2% being female, and 21.6% being classified as ‘others’. The country is said to spend about $18bn in slots every year. The total revenue gained in the industry is up to $116b.

The Australian government has given individual states the power to regulate the operations of casinos. Tatts, Victoria, and Tabcorp manage a duopoly of lottery and sports betting.

United States of America

Many states in the US have banned online casino games, which are a lucrative source of income in many countries. However, casinos are legalized in these states privately or on tribal reserves. The US gambling sector is worth $261 billion and employs over 1.8 million casino operators in North America.

According to a press release in Washington, DC, American players gamble $511bn every year. The age limit for gambling in the US is 21 years, with most gamblers aged 30-44. As of 2020, the US has 462 commercial casinos, and 466 in 2021. In 2023, we expect to see more online casinos entering the American gambling market as the laws are being amended.

Total Commercial Gambling Revenue in the U.S. 2020-2022

In the United States, casinos, sportsbooks, and lotteries are governed by the states in which they operate. Online betting is still illegal in the United States, but there is a possibility for this law to be changed as Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) continues to become popular.

Land-based casinos are legal in New Jersey and Nevada. These states have also legalized certain online casino games. The live poker industry is thriving in Florida and California, but it’s still illegal. Recently, Pennsylvania legalized both online and land-based gambling markets.

🔥 Interesting Data in the Gambling Sector

Statistics show that gambling is continually growing and becoming more interesting daily. It remains one of the most entertaining economic sectors in the world.

Worst players

The lowest-ranked state in gross gambling revenue (GGR) is Poland. As of 2018, it had a GGR of $1.81b. Australia, having one of the largest populations, bears the highest gambling losses per capita. Malta, a small island in the Mediterranean with a small population, is home to some of the biggest online gambling sites and their affiliates. It also bears one of the largest per-capita losses in gambling globally.

Best gamblers

As of 2021, China generated $46.01 billion in gambling proceeds, recorded as the highest revenue by the country. The USA and Japan followed with $40.54bn and $22.09bn, respectively. Amongst the European states, Italy had the highest gross revenue in gambling, totaling €18.1 billion. Germany and France also boasted a GGR of €14.3bn and €12.2bn, respectively.

Top countries by game revenue

✨ Most Popular Casino Games

Gambling games have experienced gradual growth owing to technological developments. As a result, some games have become more popular than others, depending on gamers’ preferences.

Casino Games/Slots

Casino games and slots are grouped into one category with bingo and lottery, and they are very common in online casinos. It is, however, rising in popularity according to the current data. According to recent studies in Statista, nearly 50% of casino gamers in the US played slots, while 5% played roulette, 6% played online poker, and 16% played blackjack. Mobile and online slots have produced big wins of real money. Progressive jackpots have also prized players with $5-7 million over recent years.

Sports betting

This sector is worth billions of dollars globally. In some countries, it is unregulated, meaning companies may gain more. With regulated sports betting accounting for over $77bn globally, the sector is set to become more popular.


This business became more popular in the early 2000s but has gradually recorded a decrease in numbers. The US shutdown of facing sites caused internet traffic to drop, but even with regulations, the sector is losing popularity. The biggest online poker prize in the main event of the World Series is $7-10 million.


In most states where casinos and old-fashioned wagering are illegal, lotteries remain legal. Lotteries in overall online gambling have grown in popularity. In countries such as the UK, the National Lottery allows gamers to win money and great prizes while supporting the less fortunate with basic needs. The sector has grown in payouts from £3.38bn to £4.13bn, which denotes an increase in popularity.


Bingo has an estimated 100 million gamers globally. Online gambling statistics Canada shows that the game records more female users than male. As of 2023, bingo has become more popular amongst Gen Z as it is a social game. The latest slot development allows online gamblers to interact with each other. It requires zero skills to play and has awesome rewards for players. It accounts for 3% of the online gambling sites’ market share, with a gross-gambling yield of about £128.64 million.

📱 Mobile Gambling Facts in Statistics

The online gambling trend has had a high growth rate owing to tech developments. Using tablets and smartphones in gambling has become a common practice ranking 1st among other social, personal service, and global community activities. Every popular online casino is giving different offers to lure potential clients. A study shows that money accounted for 55.9% of gambling reasons, while fun and the winning lure stood at 54.5% and 53.3%, respectively.

Research shows that 75% of 18-24-year-olds spend more time gambling on their phones than their 65-year-old counterparts. 46% of Americans are stated to spend 4-5 hours on phones. This increases the risk of gambling addictions. Some online gamblers have admitted to playing while driving, while others play in unusual places such as the toilet. Bingo, being a socially interactive game, has become one of the most popular games among Gen Z.

In 2019, mobile gambling was responsible for 44.6% of all gambling activities, while in 2021, the sector rose to 50.6%. By 2026, it is estimated to reach 61.5%. Europe boasts the highest share in the world’s online gambling market size at 57.20%. The Asia-Pacific region is the fastest-growing market in phone gambling, with a projection of 13.8% in online gambling revenue.

⏩ Conclusion

Gambling is a fast-growing sector, projected to top $133.9bn by 2028 and to exhibit a growth rate of 8.5% during 2023-2028. Increased interest from middle-aged users and new technology developments ensure it remains part of the global economy for a longer period. Statistics show that live or land based casinos in Canada are gradually being overtaken by online and phone/tablet gambling. Virtual sites have made it easier for gamblers to access online casinos for a chance to win money and other prizes.

Even so, land-based casinos have more to offer than virtual ones, which may last them longer if they remain relevant. While researchers project the gambling curve, the sector’s evolution becomes more interesting as time goes by. It is, however, key for gamers to exercise control while gambling to avoid addiction.


1️⃣ Which country has the highest gambling population?

Australia beats the record for the highest number of gamblers. About 39% (6.8 million) of the total population in Australia gambles. The United Kingdom and Singapore also boast a high population rate of gamblers, with 46% and 52% of the national population, respectively.

2️⃣ How many people gamble globally?

According to the current data, about 26% of the world’s population are active users of gambling sites. About 4.2 million of the total population are shown to be gambling at least once every year. This number is expected to rise significantly in 2023.

3️⃣ What’s the gambling preferences by age group?

As of April 2021, lottery games were more popular in gambling among all age groups. A study on the gambling preference of regular gamers aged 55 and above proved that 50% of the respondents would prefer playing lottery games. The table below shows the percentage share of respondents and different types of gambling preferences by age as of 2023:

Lottery game
Casino betting
Online slots
Online casino table/card games
Buy a ticket for a lucky draw

Julia Abrams

Julia Abrams

Chief Editor at

Julia Abrams is a professional iGaming and gambling expert. She draws on her extensive knowledge to deliver in-depth assessments and ratings of the best casino providers. She has many years of expertise in the field and is well-known for her diversified work style.

Updated Mar 27, 2023

Author: Bradley Price