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Gambling in the world: where it is legalized, how it works, and how much money it makes

When it comes to gambling, Las Vegas is probably the first thing that comes to mind. The city in the western United States, which is located in the state of Nevada, has long been one of the largest centers of gambling. It is known that about 42 million tourists visit the city every year and each of them spends an average of $541 exclusively on gambling.

In 2018, casino revenues in Nevada exceeded $11.9 billion, the third-largest record in the history of the entire state. But the average salary in Las Vegas is at $48,300 a year. 

The gambling business in Las Vegas has been thriving since the last century. Since the founding of the city in 1905, there have been different games, but in 1919 they were forbidden. Twelve years later – in 1931 – all over the state of Nevada people were allowed to play for money again, and since then the number and variety of casino games only continued to grow, attracting millions of tourists every year. 

Now gambling is allowed in almost every state in the U.S. except Hawaii and Utah, and each state’s legislation controls the mining business in its own way. But the largest gambling center is still Nevada. 


In China gambling is considered illegal, and the only gambling available to locals is the state lottery. Nevertheless, it is still possible to try your luck in China. All gambling entertainment is located in two places – Hong Kong and Macau. 

In Hong Kong the range of available entertainment is not too wide – the same lottery, mahjong, bets on horse races and soccer. But Macau is considered to be one of the centers of world gambling, because here you can find everything. That is why Macau is often compared to Las Vegas.

According to a report of the international bank Bernstein Bank in mid-December 2017, the total revenue from gambling in Macau has already reached $ 1 billion. At the same time, daily revenue in December was about $102.3 million. And global analysts at all believe that by 2022, gross casino revenues in Macau could reach $53 billion, and gambling entertainment will become a mass phenomenon, not an elitist.


If Las Vegas is just a city, and Macau is an administrative area, then Monaco is an entire state for lovers of gambling entertainment. The first casino was opened there in the mid-19th century, and now there are four large land-based legal casinos in Monaco. 

It is also interesting that the natives, of which only about 20% in Monaco, do not pay taxes, but simply live on various benefits and subsidies. By the way, locals are not allowed to play in the casino: only visitors to Monaco have this right. In fact, all this is connected – if locals play for money, it will entail a waste of public finances, on which they live. 

90% of the economically active population here is employed in the service sector. On average, all four casinos annually earn about €210 million, but the part of gambling in the economy of the country is not too weighty – only about 6% of GDP.

European countries

Gambling is allowed in many European countries. England, Portugal, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany – everywhere you can try your luck legally at slot machines or at roulette. As a rule, gambling business was legalized in most countries at the beginning of this century, and now the sphere is under the strict control of the state, transferring money to the treasury.

But still there are nuances. For example, in Germany there are more than 60 casinos, but online gambling is prohibited. Nevertheless, in 2015 the revenue of German casinos was 641 million euros, and the country was in fourth place among European countries by the amount of income from gambling. 

The UK had 147 casinos as of 2016, with annual revenues of more than 15.7 billion euros. Revenue from the online market was also impressive – 4.9 billion euros. By the way, all gambling in the UK state.

A similar model operates in Italy. There are also only state-owned casinos, but there are only five of them in the country. Since 2011, introduced a strict control over lovers of gambling. For example, wishing to play in land-based casinos should have chips on hand a total value of not less than 250 euros.

It is also interesting that gambling business is legal in our neighbor – Poland. Back in 2009 a law was passed there, which regulates the operators in this market. As for the online, there are quite strict restrictions and only four Polish companies are allowed to conduct this business on the Internet. As of 2015 there were 49 land-based casinos in the country, and their annual revenue amounted to 126 million euros. By the way, revenue from online casinos was not much less – 83.2 million euros. 

In Poland, allowed almost all types of gambling, but with some restrictions. For example, in poker you can play legally only in tournaments that organize land-based casinos and which involved at least 10 people. Despite the fact that this business is legal in the country, it is strictly forbidden to advertise it. 

Belarus and Russia

Despite the conservative and strict laws of Belarus, gambling is also legal here. It is regulated by a number of decrees, but still available for residents and visitors of the country. The bulk of gambling establishments are concentrated here in the capital – Minsk.

As for Russia, since 2009, the casinos and gambling halls in the country are completely banned. This ban does not apply only to four specialized gaming zones, where it is legal:

  • “Yantarnaya” – Kaliningrad region;
  • “Siberian Coin.” – Altai Territory;
  • “Primorye” – Primorsky Krai;
  • “Azov-City” – the border of Krasnodar Territory and Rostov Region.

Online casinos are banned in Russia, but according to experts, the online casino market in Russia is about $1 billion a year.

As we can see, many countries legalize gambling business, as the bans do not always give the proper result, and underground casinos proliferate like mushrooms after the rain. 

There are things that should never be overlooked. One of them is their own mental health, which largely affects your rest.That is why it is worth giving it the maximum amount of attention and allocate as much time as possible. Allowing yourself to spend a sufficient amount of time for entertainment you can provide yourself not only a great mood, but also guarantee yourself a sufficient amount of motivation and energy to perform work tasks. And if relaxation doesn’t help you cope, perhaps one of the mental health startups can help.


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