Gambling Industry : The Global Distribution

Gambling Industry : The Global Distribution

The global gambling industry widely distributes itself, with various forms of gambling activities and businesses present in numerous countries around the world. Cultural, regulatory, and economic factors influence the distribution. The gambling industry’s geographical distribution categorizes into North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Main concentrations include the United States and Canada in North America, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland in Europe, Singapore, Macau, Australia, and the Philippines in Asia, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile in South America, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa in Africa, and Dubai in the Middle East.

In addition, online gambling growth momentum is strong during the ten years. Online gambling breaks down geographical restrictions and makes gambling games accessible to people all round the world. The global online gambling market size reached US$ 86.6 Billion in 2023.

Gambling Industry

Gambling Industry in North America

The United States, with the presence of casinos in states such as Nevada Las Vegas, New Jersey, and Indian lands across the country, is a major gaming hub. Transitioning to statistics, in 2022, gross gaming revenue in the United States amounted to $60.42 billion US dollars. This industry is regulated on a state-by-state basis, particularly in the area of online gambling and sports betting, which has become increasingly popular.

Canada has a well-established gambling industry with casinos, racetracks, and lottery operations. In 2022, the Canadian gambling industry had a market value of US$12.5 billion. Some provinces are offering online casino and sports betting services.

Gambling Industry in Europe

The gambling sector in the United Kingdom, which includes casinos, betting shops, and online gaming platforms, is mature and licensed. Transitioning to regulatory oversight, licensing and regulatory compliance fall under the responsibility of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Providing context, the gross gambling revenue in Great Britain increased to over 14 billion British pounds as of March 2022, up from the previous year’s 12.7 billion pounds. Furthermore, in Great Britain, approximately 32.65 million new registrations for online gambling have been recorded since March 2022. Additionally, in March 2022, the GGY of the remote betting, bingo, and casino gambling industry totaled 6.4 billion British pounds. (Source: https://www.statista.com/topics/3400/gambling-industry-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/#topicOverview )

France, Italy, and Spain all have a long history of centuries in the gambling industry and boast a strong presence of land-based casinos along with a regulated online gambling market. Transitioning to Spain, it’s noteworthy that Spaniards gamble more than most of their European neighbors. According to recent research, in 2020-2021, the percentage of the Spanish population that participated in gambling activities was the highest in Europe, with a total of 65.9% of men and 61.2% of women.

The gaming industry is well regulated in the Nordic countries, which include Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland, with a mix of public sector operators as well as privately owned operators. Transitioning to public perception, according to a market survey, reports indicate that 60 to 80 percent of Nordic citizens stated they had engaged in gambling of some kind at least once within a year.


Macau is a special administrative region of China that is often referred to as the “Gambling Capital of the World”. It features significant concentration of casinos. Gambling tourism is Macau’s biggest source of revenue, making up about 50% of the economy.

Singapore’s gambling industry is in the process of growth. Singapore allows casinos in the form of integrated resorts (IR). Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa are typical ones.

Australia has a strong gambling culture with a focus on sports betting, casino gaming, and electronic gaming machines (pokies). Gambling is a popular activity undertaken by Australians. In 2022, 72.8% of Australian adults gambled within the previous 12 months (80.5% for men and 66.2% for women) and 38% of Australian adults gambled at least once per week (48% for men and 28% for women).

Australia is well-known for its strong gambling culture. Sports betting, casino gaming, and electronic gaming machines (pokies) are most popular. Based on a survey conducted in 2022, 72.8% of Australian adults gambled within the previous 12 months (80.5% for men and 66.2% for women) and 38% of Australian adults gambled at least once per week (48% for men and 28% for women).

The government actually completely monopolizes the gaming industry in the Philippines. The presence of over 20 casinos in Metro Manila significantly enhances the Philippines’ tourism appeal, emphasizing casino gambling.

Latin America

Latin America, with its rich cultural tapestry and diverse nations, is also home to a varied and evolving gambling industry. The gambling market in Latin America reflects the diversity of the region. In 2022, the GGR from bets placed in the region amounted to roughly 1.3 billion U.S. dollars. (click to learn more about the gambling industry of Latin America)  There is a presence of land based casinos in Argentina, Brazil and Chile which are exploring or implementing regulations for online gambling.


Although less mature compared to other regional markets, the early development stages of the African gambling sector promise significant potential. The African market, boasting a population exceeding 1.3 billion, includes a significant portion of young, tech-savvy individuals, presenting promising prospects. South Africa, the leading gambling market in Africa, contributes over 40-50% of the total gambling revenue generated across the region. Moreover, South Africa boasts a relatively well-established gambling industry with casinos, horse racing, and sports betting. In other countries like Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, there’s a burgeoning interest in the gambling industry, particularly in sports betting.

Middle East

The Middle East largely prohibits gambling, but Dubai has become a destination for luxury tourism, including high-end casinos.

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