Since the first casino opened in 1638, Italy, gambling houses have popped up all over the world, with their popularity even spreading to the internet; high demand for the beloved games spurring on the opening of the first online casino in 1997.
From April to September 2020, online casino games in the UK made roughly £1.9 billion, mostly from slot games, contributing to the staggering £5.9 billion made by the entire industry during this half-year period. But what if we told you that the UK doesn’t hold the first or second place as the top casino capitals in the world, despite these incredible figures, the casino promotions online that are readily available at the tip of your fingers, and the popular London scene and millions that flock there?
You’re probably thinking that it’s obvious – the UK has nothing on the fabulous Las Vegas Strip, which is clearly the casino capital of the world! With the bright lights, history and exciting stories from Nevada, it’s really no wonder you’d think this. But, yet again, you’d be wrong. The city that is currently making the most profit out of the gaming industry, and therefore scoring top place as the world’s casino capital in 2021 is, in fact, Macau!
Read on to find out more.
Despite gambling being illegal in mainland China, 50% of Macau’s entire revenue is made up from gambling alone. On top of its state-run lotteries, that cater for more than one-billion of the residents that live there, Macau has 41 casinos, nine of which are operated by MGM and Wynn. Macau is a Special Administrative Region of China, and is therefore not governed from Beijing. Despite this, the city still receives a lot of pressure from mainland China to stop gambling.
United States of America (USA)
Coming in second, of course, is the USA. The United States’ gambling industry is worth $261 billion and provides 1.8 million jobs. Most of the casinos are in Nevada, and are situated within the Las Vegas Strip, or the surrounding areas. Gambling is actually illegal in many US states, hence why over 42 million people flock to the state annually. Las Vegas houses over 114 casinos, with 31 of these making up the iconic Strip.
United Kingdom (UK)
Scoring bronze, in third place is the UK. With 131 operating casinos in Great Britain, and an estimated 2.1 million Brits gaming online alone – the industry is worth an average of £14.3 billion, providing around 98,000 people with jobs. With online casinos providing more and more of a variety of games, slot machines and old-school fruit machines present in most pubs, clubs, service stations and making up 70% of a casinos income, it really is no wonder the industry continues to grow in Britain.
Around 80% of the Australian population gamble – more so than any other country. In 2011, 92.8% of these were male, but the percentage of all genders participating in the games has evened out over recent years. Spread over all eight states, there are over 20 full-scale casinos. “Pokies” (slot machines) are offered in hundreds of small venues, proving to be one of the most popular types of gaming.
Canada has more of a liberal approach to gambling, and makes CA$17.3 billion in revenue every year from the industry, which only continues to grow. There are 88 land-based casinos spread across nine provinces and one territory. Canada is also home to one of the world’s key online gambling jurisdictions, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC), which licenses online casinos and poker sites everywhere, so it’s no wonder Canada makes it on the list of the world’s top casino capitals.