Gambling has been a traditional recreational sport that is closely entwined with the history and culture of many regions of the world. There are several reasons why gambling continues to be a popular activity in many parts of the world, even today. Usually, a combination of social, cultural, legal, and historical reasons is responsible for making gambling a popular activity.
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Places Where Gambling Is A Popular Activity
This island nation has a low-density of population, but it has a very high density of gamblers in its population. In Australia, 39% of the population is involved in gambling, and most of them enjoy playing slots. On average, Australians spend around $20 billion per year on gambling.
There are several reasons that are attributed to the popularity of the gambling industry in Australia. Many social scientists believe that the reasons are historical. Australians took to gambling because they were influenced by the Britishers during the colonial period.
Moreover, there are social reasons why Australians love gambling; they see it as a means of entertainment, just like songs, dance and theater. Thus, there is no social taboo associated with gambling and its associated ill effects like addiction.
Beyond socio-cultural reasons, the laws in Australia also encourage gambling. Gambling is a legal activity, and not only that, payouts that are obtained from playing games like Keno are absolutely free of tax.
Although many Australians love to gamble yet, most of them are not addicted; in fact, they play because they love the thrill of the games. The Australian government thus seems to prioritize getting high revenues from Casinos instead of curbing the menace of addictive betting.
Many people might mistakenly think that America has more gamblers simply because they have the largest and the best Casinos in the world. However, in Australia, most people bet online, and thus the lack of giant Casino chains does not affect the fortunes of the betting industry.
2. The United Kingdom
Britishers love to bet their money on unpredictable outcomes. It is often said that the earliest ways to gamble involved betting on horse and dog races in Britain. In fact, one of the reasons why gambling spread far and wide was the Britisher’s love for betting. In the nineteenth century, most countries of the world were under British rule, and the Britishers spread their love for betting in almost all of their colonies.
The British government allows any person above the age of eighteen years to gamble. The government does not consider the money won in a wager as a trading activity and hence the money won in payouts is largely tax-free. Again, the UK like Australia does not have mega Casinos like those seen in Los Angeles, yet there are small Casinos and slot machines at every nook and corner of Britain.
Ireland’s culture is greatly influenced by the British, and just like Britishers, Irishmen too love to wager their money on unpredictable outcomes. The money won as payouts is free of tax, yet Casinos provide a lot of revenue to the governments. Moreover, the people of Ireland are friendly and outgoing, and hence there is no active social taboo against gambling. Hence, Ireland as a nation loves to place bets and make money in slot machines and rummy tables.
This developed Asian country surprisingly has a high number of gamblers despite the social taboo against it. In fact, gambling activities are allowed only as a part of large hotels and resorts. Many social groups have time and again raised concerns about the ill effects of gambling like addiction to betting money despite losing. In fact, the country has a national council on problem gambling.
There is also a punitive fee that is imposed on people who visit Casinos. But even then, betting is a popular activity probably because Singapore is a popular tourist destination and tourists love to gamble.
Canadians love to gamble, and it is prevalent in many gaming resorts in places like Ontario, Columbia etc. These places are famous holiday destinations, and hence tourists spend a lot of money in these resorts. More than 75% of the adult population of Canada is involved in some form of betting or the other, and any person who is above the age of eighteen is allowed to bet.
There is no social taboo associated with betting, and many sporting clubs in Canada are sponsored by Canadian Casinos. Hence, the Casinos are well-marketed in Canada, and hence the country makes an annual profit of around $13 billion from the betting industry.
In Finland, the Casino industry is fast expanding, and people are attracted to these modern Casinos because they provide exciting games. Modern Finnish Casinos offer hundreds of varieties of slot games. They also give huge payouts to the winners. They give great welcome bonuses and free spins to attract and retain new players.
Finland is one country where technological advances have a greater role to play in the expansion of Casinos rather than social and cultural factors. Most Finnish people go to online Casinos instead of traditional brick-and-mortar Casinos. Online casinos adopt the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, etc., to create a personalized and immersive experience for the players.
Thus, Australia, Ireland, the UK, Canada, and Singapore have the maximum number of gamblers in the world. The governments in these countries play a significant role in influencing the fate of the Casinos. National governments encourage betting by making win amounts tax-free; further, they ensure that their revenue is safe by levying fees on the Casino’s total profit.
Many Asian countries like Singapore recognize the ill effects of addiction and betting; however, it is probably the great marketing strategy of hotels and Casino chains that make betting a popular activity despite a negative social perception of gambling.