Home Betting Which US State Loves to Gamble the Most?

Which US State Loves to Gamble the Most?

by Scott Kacsmar
0 comment
Vegas Golden Knights Fans

Gambling in the United States is at an all-time high thanks to recent changes in the laws in most states and the availability of legal gambling apps right on your phone.

It used to be that you had to plan a trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City to do some real gambling in person, but the whole landscape has changed, and millions of people are able to do everything from casino gaming (slots and table games) to sports betting just by picking up their phones. You can even get your lottery tickets online in select states these days instead of going to the gas station or supermarket.

But which state loves to gamble the most?

This answer could change soon if the 2 most populous states, California and Texas, ever get a fully legalized gambling law passed. But until that day comes, you still have to give it up to Nevada despite some strong competition from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and a growing New York market.

Let’s look at why Nevada, home of Las Vegas, is still the state that loves to gamble the most.

Casino Gaming

According to WalletHub, Nevada ranks No. 1 in the most gambling-addicted states. Nevada scores higher than South Dakota, Montana, and Louisiana in a metric that weighs everything from the population, revenue, and number of casinos and gaming machines per capita.

When it comes to casino gaming, Nevada’s Las Vegas is still the king. More than 30 million tourists still come to Vegas each year, and many can’t help but try their hand at gambling in a casino.

After all, Nevada is still far and away the top state when it comes to most casinos per capita. Nevada has 12.8 casinos per 1,000 residents, which easily clears the next closest states in South Dakota (7.8 casinos per 1,000 residents) and Oklahoma (4.0 casinos per 1,000 residents).

Depending on your definition of a casino, there are anywhere from 250 to 440 casinos in Nevada today. Many are located in Las Vegas, noted for the famous Vegas Strip with all the glitz and glamour that attracts tourists.

Nevada has been ahead of the curve for decades in making casino gaming legal in the state. You can play table games (blackjack, roulette, craps), slot machines, and video poker in Nevada. There are also live card rooms for poker.

According to Statista, casinos reported over $60 billion in gross gaming revenue in 2022. Nevada led the way of all states with $14.8 billion, or almost 25% of the total casino revenue in the country.

Here is the top 10 list of gross gaming revenue from casinos in 2022:

  1. Nevada – $14.8 billion
  2. Pennsylvania – $5.3 billion
  3. New Jersey – $5.2 billion
  4. New York – $4.2 billion
  5. Michigan – $3.2 billion
  6. Indiana – $2.9 billion
  7. Louisiana – $2.6 billion
  8. Mississippi – $2.6 billion
  9. Ohio – $2.3 billion
  10. Maryland – $2.2 billion

Nevada’s revenue is roughly as much as the next 3 closest states behind. But it is hard to blame these other states when many are so new to the industry while Vegas has had some of the biggest casinos for decades now.

Sports Betting

Perhaps the fastest-growing gambling industry in the United States is sports betting. This is thanks to the Supreme Court overturning PASPA in 2018 when it was ruled as an unconstitutional ban of sports betting. That allowed all 50 states to have the right to choose to legalize sports betting or not.

In the 5-plus years since PASPA was removed, more than 35 states and the District of Colombia have legalized some form of sports betting whether it is in person, online, or both.

This has led to an explosion in sports gambling as companies once known for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) such as FanDuel and DraftKings have become 2 of the most dominant sportsbooks available to gamblers online and through the use of apps. Other sportsbooks with a significant market share include BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook.

These companies have sponsorship deals with many of the professional sports leagues, and you can not watch a live game anymore without seeing some advertising for these sportsbooks right on the broadcast.

With it becoming so easy to place instant bets on a variety of sports and with so many options for parlays and prop picks, it is no wonder sports betting has become this popular this quickly. Sportsbooks since 2018 have handled over $275 billion in sports betting, and their gross revenue is $23 billion.

An early adopter, Nevada was the leader in sports betting handle until April 2021 when New Jersey took the lead and has held on ever since. Keep in mind that New Jersey has about triple the population of Nevada, which only has just over 3 million people. But the Garden State does also have its own decades-long history with mainstream gambling thanks to Atlantic City.

Here are the top 5 states in sports betting handle since 2018 through October 2023:

  1. New Jersey – $42.8 billion in handle, $3.17 billion in revenue
  2. Nevada – $35.9 billion in handle, $2.06 billion in revenue
  3. New York – $31.6 billion in handle, $2.77 billion in revenue
  4. Illinois – $26.4 billion in handle, $2.18 billion in revenue
  5. Pennsylvania – $24.7 billion in handle, $2.03 billion in revenue

No other states currently have $15 billion in handle or $2 billion in revenue, but give it time. Again, if huge states such as Texas, California, and Florida ever get their act together, you could see Nevada challenged as the gambling mecca in the country.

But for now, thanks to its casinos, strong brand, and rich history of being pro-gambling, Nevada remains the state most synonymous with gambling in the United States. We bet it will hold onto that title for some time to come as no one has bothered to match the majestic Las Vegas.

However, online gambling continues to grow in popularity and it will become the dominant form of gambling in the country, if it isn’t already. But if you are talking about leaving your house to go gambling, Nevada is still No. 1.

author avatar
Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

You may also like

JoeWager is your leading source for trending topics relevant to offshore gamblers, including betting resources, sports & casino guides, entertainment topics, politics and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest Articles

Copyright 2023 – All Right Reserved.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More