Gambling Addiction Statistics 2022: Is It a Mental Illness?

Last Updated: November 25, 2022
Whether you’re looking at gambling addiction statistics, you will find the negative impact it can have on an individual and a family. 
Gambling Addiction Statistics
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Gambling can be a fun thing to do, but when you see the gambling addiction statistics and facts, you will see the less glamorous and fun side of it.

While most people who gamble don’t become addicted, those who do face consequences. The effects can go beyond what you might imagine unless you have been exposed to it. 

To give you some idea of the numbers involved, we have gathered data on the topic.

The following will address gambling addiction statistics in 2022.

Resource Contents show

Key Gambling Addiction Statistics 2022

  • Gambling addiction risk increases by 23-fold for gamblers who also have alcohol disorders or addiction.
  • 1% is the estimated percentage of Americans with severe gambling problems.
  • It’s estimated that 750,000 teens to young adults ages 14 to 21 suffer from gambling addiction.
  • 3 to 5 out of 100 gamblers struggle with gambling addiction or disorders.
  • Young adult college students are at more than double the risk of developing a gambling addiction.
  • Gambling addiction facts report that an estimated 0.5% of UK adults are problem gamblers.
  • 1.9% of 11- to 16-year-olds from Scotland and England are problem gamblers. 
  • China’s first rehabilitation center for problem gamblers caters to about 50 new patients every month.
  • In 2018, the percentage of Canadians considered problem gamblers was 0.6%.
  • A mere 1% of women who have experienced gambling-caused harm reach out for help.

4 Top Gambling Addiction Statistics 2022

When data is being gathered for statistical purposes, patterns, or trends become apparent. Here are the top trends uncovered from such data. 

  1. Gambling addiction risk increases by 23-fold for gamblers who also have alcohol disorders or addiction.
  2. 3 to 5 out of 100 gamblers struggle with gambling addiction or disorders.
  3. More than 80% of adults in America gamble annually.
  4. It’s estimated that 750,000 teens to young adults ages 14 to 21 suffer from gambling addiction.

3 College Students & Gambling Addiction Stats

Statistics show that adults between the ages of 20 and 30 are in the highest risk group for gambling problems.

Here are three of those statistics.

  1. It’s estimated that 6% of American college students battle against gambling problems.
  2. 75% of American college students claim to have gambled over the past year.
  3. Young adult college students are at more than double the risk of developing a gambling addiction.

3 Criminal Activity & Gambling Addiction Stats

  1. Statistics have found a pattern between criminal activity and gambling, related to the severity of the addiction.
  2. An estimated 80 to 90% of Gamblers Anonymous participants admit to partaking in illegal activities to obtain money for gambling.
  3. An average of 50% of people with gambling problems commit crimes to support their gambling addiction.

It may or may not surprise you that people suffering from severe stress and anxiety and those living with PTSD are showing high rates of gambling problems.

Here are five such statistics that show that pattern of behavior.

  1. 34% of people seeking help for gambling problems have symptoms of PTSD.
  2. One study that screened 260 Veterans in 2017 and 2018 showed that 32.7% of Veteran respondents reported gambling within the year. 
  3. 25% of Veterans reported the conventional lottery was their most frequent gambling activity. 
  4. PTSD symptoms appear in 12.5 to 29% of those with gambling addiction.
  5. 13.1% of Army wives reported Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), resulting in a pattern of IPV among military husbands who also gamble. 

Mental Illness and Gambling Addiction Facts

As with any addiction, gambling addictions can alter the brain’s chemicals in negative ways. This means that gambling addiction comes at a high risk of affected people developing a mental illness.

Here are four risk factors related to compulsive gambling. 

  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Depression disorders
  • Anti-social personality disorders
  • Substance abuse disorders  

General Gambling Addiction Statistics in the United States 2022

1. 1% Is the Estimated Percentage of Americans with Severe Gambling Problems.

This percentage looks low, but it amounts to around 2.5 million people in America with gambling addiction or other issues.

Since few people seek treatment for gambling addiction, it’s challenging to get an accurate number.

There are no physical signs of gambling addiction like seen with drug or alcohol addiction.

According to the executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling in New Jersey, Neva Pryor, “Gambling is a hidden addiction.”

Pryor made it clear that you don’t find track marks on their arms or see them staggering around. Unless they drink alcohol or do drugs, that is true.

Other than financial issues or failing to show up for important activities or work, there are no physical signs or symptoms of gambling addiction. 

2. An Estimated 3 Million Adults in America Are at Risk of Compulsive Gambling.

Recent data reveals that an estimated 2.5 million American adults already suffer from compulsive gambling.

Another 3 million adult Americans have gambling problems that put them at risk of becoming compulsive gamblers. 

Additionally, another 15 million are at risk of becoming problem gamblers, while 148 million are in the low-risk category.

3. It’s Estimated that 23 Million Americans Incur Unnecessary Debt Due to Gambling.

These Americans are not only incurring unnecessary debt, they are going into debt due to their gambling habit, according to gambling addiction statistics and facts.

Also, statistics show that the average amount lost is about $55,000.

When people are addicted to gambling, they turn to more gambling thinking they will achieve that big win that will pay off their gambling debts.

More often than not, this risk ends in owing more debt.

4. In America, About 15% of People Gamble Weekly, According to Gambling Addiction Statistics. 

Another related statistic shows that 85% of US adults have gambled at least once in their lifetime.

Of American adults who gamble, 6% have the characteristics of problem gamblers. Also, 500,000 American teens fall into the problem gambler category.

5. American Gamblers Spend About $500 Billion of Their Income Each Year on Wagers. 

The percentage of American adults that gamble who fall into the pathological gambler or problem gambler categories is 2.9%. This kind of spending is helping to keep gambling venues in Las Vegas afloat with revenues of $1.7 billion. 

Gambling Addiction Statistics and Facts Worldwide 2022

The United States isn’t the only country that has gambling problems among its citizens. Europe, Asia, and Africa are also dealing with this global issue.

6. An Estimated 0.5% of UK Adults Are Problem Gamblers.

More statistics and facts suggest that 3.1% of problem gamblers in Britain bet more than they can afford to lose.

Another 7% of UK gamblers claim they gamble to earn money to get by on. 

7. An Estimated 88,000 College Students in The Uk Are Problem Gamblers

This data shows us that American college students aren’t the only ones with gambling addictions.

Further statistics about UK college students show that 50% of these students incurred a debt of about 1,000 pounds. 

8. Statistics Show that Gambling Disorders Account for Around 226 Million Pounds to 1.3 Billion Pounds per Year.

These numbers amount to an average of 2.1 pounds per week spent on gambling per capita. While that doesn’t seem like a lot, over time, it adds up.

In US dollars the amounts are $369 million to $1.7 billion per year spent due to gambling disorders and $3.70 spent per person per week.

9. In Australia, a Total of $19.19 Million Was Lost on Gambling Between 2017 and 2018 Due to Compulsive Gambling.

That is around $26.67 million AUD, which is not a small amount. The same report coming out of the Queensland Treasury discovered this was a 5% increase compared to 2016.

If we account for every Australian adult that is based on the census, the losses spread across them come to $9,250, or 12,834.75 AUD.

10. In 2018, the Percentage of Canadians Considered Problem Gamblers Was 0.6%.

Statistics on gambling addiction show that only 0.6% of Canadians are categorized as problem gamblers.

This same research reports that about 2.7% of the Canadian population is defined as at-risk gamblers. 

According to the current gambling addiction statistics from Canada, there has been a 45% decrease in problem gambling since a former study conducted in 2002. 

11. China’s First Rehabilitation Center for Problem Gamblers Caters to About 50 New Patients Every Month.

This same rehab center has helped thousands of people for over 12 years. China’s mainland gambling addicts visit offshore apps and websites to feed their habits.

The Philippines is home to about 70% of these websites.  

12. 60 Million Nigerians Between 18 and 40 Wager on Sports Every Day. 

Gambling addiction is considered a worldwide problem. It’s no surprise that sports betting is one of these gambling addictions. Another interesting statistic shows that the Nigerian people spend about $5 million on sports betting daily.

13. 54% of Young People Living in The Sub-Saharan Area Have Gambled.

Kenya is a leader in this statistic with 76% of its younger crowd risking their money by gambling.

57% of Ugandans young people are gambling away their money, while 42% of Ghanaians are doing the same. 

14. In 2019, Japan’s Recovery Facilities Received 5,222 Calls About Gambling Addiction. 

Gambling problem statistics also show that in 2019 Japan’s recovery centers received 5,795 calls related to gambling problems, which is so far, the highest number reported between 2010 and 2019.

The lowest number of gambling addiction calls received occurred in 2011. 

We have also gathered statistics related to gambling disorders.

15. A Mere 1% of Women Who Have Experienced Gambling-Caused Harm Reach out For Help.

In 2019, Gamblers Anonymous reported that women are more apt to call about other peoples’ gambling problems than their own.

Here is how the percentages are broken down. 90% of men call in due to their personal gambling addictions compared to 41% of women do.

16. 1.9% of 11- to 16-Year-Olds from Scotland and England Are Problem Gamblers. 

Furthermore, another 2.7% are considered at-risk gamblers. The combined age group have admitted to gambling within the past 12 months prior to taking the survey. 

17. The Gambling Charity, Gam Care Received 38,404 Phone Calls Between 2019 and 2020.

The gambling addiction statistics show these callers to be 35 or younger in six of ten instances. We should also mention that the statistics say that this group is the most likely to get treatment.

18. British Gambling Addiction Statistics Report that 2.9% of Survey Respondents Between the Ages of 35 and 44 Regularly Engage in Gambling. 

More accurately, this age group says they gamble at least every four weeks, or once per month.

The age group that comes in second for regular gambling habits includes the 45 to 54 group.

FAQs

Gambling Addiction

What Are Some Signs of Gambling Addiction?

If you’re looking for the most obvious sign of gambling addiction it involves the preoccupation with betting and gambling and increasing bets to feel the adrenaline rush. They get a literal thrill from gambling.

Moreover, when gambling addicts make hollow efforts to reduce or quit gambling, you will see the classic signs of withdrawal that come with it like irritability.

Additionally, if you find you or a loved one is gambling to escape their problems and seek to regain lost money, that is a sign of gambling addiction.

More signs include putting relationships in jeopardy by lying about gambling, lying about how much they are losing, getting involved in criminal activities to support their addiction, and missing work, school, or engagements.

What Makes Gambling Addictive?

The human brain is wired to pursue rewards. When the happy, feel-good hormone, dopamine is released, people feel amply rewarded. Gambling can cause the release of dopamine.

Compulsive gamblers are people who are hooked on dopamine release and wind up losing interest in other things.

Sadly, some people are predisposed to gambling addiction through genetics. 

How Many People in The World Are Addicted to Gambling?

It’s difficult to come up with a precise percentage of gambling addicts across the globe even with a plethora of gambling addiction statistics and facts available. 

Statistics from several years ago report that about 10 million people in the US battle gambling problems. We do not currently have an accurate number, and it’s highly unlikely that the older gambling addiction statistics do.

The only gambling addiction statistics available are educated guesses based on what is reported. Since few people report gambling addiction, the numbers will not be accurate, regardless of the country or region.

In the UK, the reports show that about 430,000 people have a gambling problem. Sweden’s number of women who are addicted to gambling is at 64% 3% of Switzerland’s population has a gambling addiction.

Asian countries reported the highest losses from gambling across the world in 2017. As with the rest of the world, there are no numbers reported for gambling addictions right now.

This is not likely something investigated in Asian countries since gambling is encouraged, making it impossible to uncover how many people are addicted.

Can Gambling Addiction Be Overcome?

Technically, there is no addiction that one cannot overcome. So, gambling addiction can be overcome. As with any addiction, it’s not easy, but it’s possible. 

The steps for combatting gambling addiction are similar to all addiction steps.

You need to admit the problem exists, find and join a support group, find ways to relax and de-stress or look into consulting with a behavioral therapist. 

Some people claim it helps them to entrust their finances to a financial advisor to manage their finances instead of having access to your money for anything and everything. 

A gambling addict should do what is necessary to overcome their addiction.

Is Gambling Considered a Mental Illness?

In certain instances, compulsive gambling has been categorized as an impulsive control disorder. Therefore, it can be classified as a mental disorder.

Gambling, and any kind of addiction, can become psychologically and physically dangerous if it’s left unchecked. 

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking at gambling addiction statistics, you will find the negative impact it can have on an individual and a family. 

These statistics we gathered for you should open your eyes to the harmful nature of gambling and how it can adversely affect society as a whole.

As you can see, by the facts in this article, gambling addiction is a worldwide problem.

If you feel you have lost control of your gambling habits, or you know someone who exhibits the symptoms of gambling addiction, it’s important to reach out for help.

Too many people with gambling problems are sinking when they don’t have to. 

Help is available no matter where you live.

Sources

Addictions BBC BBC
BuffaloDebtGambling Commission
GamCareGeneus HealthFinder
businessinsidermayoclinicmedicalnewstoday
NBC NewsNCP GamblingNCRG
NCBIPubsICRG
Know the OddsPhoenix ProgrammesPsychology Today
SavingsSavingsSCMP
South WorldSky Wood RecoveryStatista
StatistaStatistaThe Recovery Village
Top UniversitiesVAVanguard
Very Well MindUleth

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Written by Jason Wise

Hi! I’m Jason. I tend to gravitate towards business and technology topics, with a deep interest in social media, privacy and crypto. I enjoy testing and reviewing products, so you’ll see a lot of that from me here on EarthWeb.