It sometimes seems hard to understand gambling behaviors and figure out if someone just enjoys gambling or has a gambling disorder. There is a connection between substance abuse, alcoholism and gambling addictions and there are signs and symptoms to look out for.
You can look into treatment options, gambling addiction treatment is getting better and better each year. It’s important that you keep your family and friends close and that you seek help as soon as possible.
We’ve compiled dozens of gambling addiction facts and statistics, as well as stories (some funny, some ironic, and some just plain weird) so that you can better discern between right and wrong when it comes to offline and online gambling and make good decisions.
Gambling Addiction Facts and Statistics
- Gambling is a billion dollar industry. Only in the USA, gambling has become an industry that rakes in over $40 billion dollars a year.
- Gambling generates more revenue than if you were to combine the revenue from movies, sports, theme parks, cruise ships and recorded music.
- Estimations show that around 80% of the US population has gambled through the course of their life. This can be extrapolated to other countries as well, as the UK, Australia and other countries historically have similar numbers.
- While huge numbers of both men and women gamble, men are more likely to develop a gambling problem than women are.
- While some people will blame gambling problems on the game itself (lotteries, casinos games, racetracks, slots etc) and how easy it is to find where to play them, it’s actually not the games that are the issue, but a person’s compulsive gambling, his inability to control habits. In fact, there are a lot more people who casually gamble than people who have a compulsion.
- Pathological gamblers are more likely to have mental health disorders or substance use disorders, or both.
- There was a research study that found that out of the players who faced a gambling addiction, 75% had an alcohol disorder, 38% had a drug use disorder, and 60% were nicotine dependent.
- Furthermore, 50% of gamblers have experienced a mood disorder, 41.3% an anxiety disorder, and 60.8% a personality disorder.
- Out of all casino games, 68% of the people choose to play slot machines most often.
- Compulsive gambling is not connected to being weak or less intelligent. Many players who have become problem gamblers are successful people and are seen by others as being strong and intelligent.
Unusual, Ironic or Funny Gambling Facts & Stories
- In order to stop people living in a village in India from engaging in excessive alcohol use and gambling, a man taught everyone about 50 years ago how to play chess. While gambling and alcohol use are at an all-time low, the villagers are now addicted to playing chess.
- In an argument between a husband and wife about gambling, the wife bought a scratch-off lottery ticket in order to prove to her husband that it was a waste of money. In a twist of fate, she ended up winning $1 million.
- When FedEx was just starting out, CEO Fred Smith took the company’s last $5,000 to Las Vegas hoping to cover the company’s $24,000 fuel bill. He won $27,000 gambling on blackjack.
- Gambling for cash money is illegal in Japan. So gamblers win balls which are then exchanged for prizes or tokens. These items can then be exchanged for cash at a separate place.
- In 1992, an Australian gambling syndicate bought almost all possible combinations in a Virginia lottery and won. They made a $5 million purchase and got $27 million in winnings.
- In Finland, all gambling is controlled by the government, and all profits go to charity.
- Russia outlawed all gambling in 2009 so a Russian engineer learned how to cheat slot machines. He went to the U.S. and used his knowledge to win $21,000.
- A Greek-American gambler, Archie Karas (Anargyros Nicholas Karabourniotis), went to Las Vegas with $50. He gambled it up to $40 million over the next two years and then he lost it all in three weeks.
- Of all nations, Australians lose the most money per capita to gambling.
- In 2014, the anti-gambling agency of Singapore wanted to use the chaos of the World Cup in order to draw attention to how gambling is wrong. They published an ad that showed a worried kid who was telling his friends that his father bet all their life saving on Germany winning the World Cup. Lo and behold, Germany won.
- Brian Zembic was known as someone who would agree to any bet and dare. He made a bet with a friend for $100,000. To win, he had to get breast implants and keep them for a year. Not only did he win the bet, but 20 years later he still has the implants.
- Gambling sites and betting sites are better at predicting results of elections than polls are.
- A British gambler sold everything he owned and bet $135,300 on red for a single spin of a roulette wheel in Las Vegas. The UK player won.
- In 2015, Tayla Polia against 20,000-to-1 odds, won on an NFL parlay. Her $5 became $100,005.
- The state of Florida accidentally banned smartphones and computers when trying to ban gambling internet cafes.
Gambling can be fun, and gambling can be a problem. The difference between the two is particular to each individual. If you have a problem with addiction in general, it’s better to stay away from gambling and any other trigger.
If you generally have good impulse control and no issues with drugs, alcohol or disorders and don’t want to gamble just in the hopes of getting rich quickly and easily, then you shouldn’t have any issues with offline and online gambling.
Responsible gambling is the key to playing any casino games of any kind. If you are patient, think it through, follow the best practices, set a budget and stick to it you should be able to enjoy yourself.
Even to this day, the pshychology of gambling addiction is not fully understood 100%, researchers are still trying to uncover everything so that we have better chances of bypassing any problems.
What you need to remember is that if you have any reason to believe you or someone you know might have a problem with gambling, you should act quickly and seek help asap. There are many people, companies and programs in place to help you. Be responsible always and play safe.