It does not come as a surprise to many that Nevada has been ranked as the most gambling addicted state in America. It’s not a surprise as Nevada topped the list for the last couple of years and given the fact that Las Vegas is known as the gambling capital of the world – it is logical to assume that there is going to be a high percentage of problem gamblers.
Nevada is not only home to some of the best land based casinos in the world but Nevada is one of the four states in America to have legalized online gambling. This allows players to sit and gamble from the comfort of their homes on a 24/7 basis.
The gambling industry has benefitted Nevada significantly by generating billions of dollars in gross gaming revenue, creating thousands of jobs, boosting domestic and international tourism and generating millions for the state coffers.
Problem Gambling Continuing To Rise In America
Due to the proliferation of gambling venues and opportunities, many Americans suffer from problem gambling or gambling addiction. Gambling addiction is characterized by excessive gambling behavior that compromises and damages different facets of a person’s life—from their personal pursuits, their family affairs, and career.
At least 1 to 3 percent of American adults are suffering from a gambling disorder. A male gambling addict can incur an average of $55,000 to $90,000 in debt, which they struggle to pay off. When gambling addiction is severe, it often leads to family problems, excessive and unpayable debt, criminal charges, and even depression or suicide.
Despite these statistics, more states across the country are trying to introduce gambling bills that will expand land based gaming, legalize online gambling and sports betting. Legislators from these states argue that regulating gambling introduces parameters that will safeguard and protect problem gamblers. But despite this rationale, Nevada, which is the most gambling-friendly state in the US has seen an increase in problem gambling.
Nevada – A Problem Gambling State
In new research by credit score and credit report website WalletHub, they found that Nevada tops the 50 US states in terms of being the most gambling-addicted state.
The report studied the several facets of gambling in each state—from gambling regulations, presence of illegal gambling activities, to the number of casinos and machines per capita—to identify which state is the most-gambling addicted state.
The research showed that Nevada tops both the Gambling-Friendliness and Gambling Problem & Treatment scales. As the center of gambling in the US, Nevada has the most casinos and most gaming machines per capita.
It was also deemed the most-gambling addicted state after it was scored depending on the share of adults in the state with gambling disorders, number of gambling counselors per capita, “gamblers anonymous” meetings, employee training on problem gambling, presence of gambling addiction treatments, and gambling-related arrests.
This is the third consecutive year that Nevada was ranked by WalletHub as the most gambling-addicted state. In the three years that WalletHub has been conducting the study, Nevada has always emerged on top of the list—and it’s not surprising, as it is home to Las Vegas and Reno, two of the most gambling-concentrated areas in the state.
Problem Gambling Continues To Increase Across States
Although Nevada is scored as the most gambling-addicted state based on the parameters, there were a number of other states that were also found to be just as problematic.
South Dakota was found to be the second most gambling-addicted state in the country, and third in terms of gambling-friendliness. South Dakota has seen an increase in problem gambling due to the rise of casinos and video lotteries on every street corner. South Dakota is the third state with the most gaming machines per capita and ties with Nevada and Oklahoma for the most number of casinos per capita.
According to Keystone Gambling addiction counsellor Deborah Swensen, the gambling industry is a major source of revenue for the state and has brought in nearly $3 billion to the state fund since 1987. While that is definitely a positive, gambling addiction has also become one of the leading causes for death by suicide in the state.
Mississippi is the fourth most gambling-addicted state, but has the highest percentage of adults with gambling disorders. Certified compulsive gambling counselor Stuart Milan noted that in the state of Mississippi, there’s at least one gamblers anonymous meeting taking place every day. Gambling addiction also isn’t covered by insurance, so problem gamblers who are trapped in debt will find it even harder to get out of their gambling addiction without the help of a professional.
Mississippi is also tied with Illinois, Hawaii, and New Jersey with the most number of gambling-related arrests.

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