There’s no denying the popularity of casino games and sports betting across the world. However, different games have different levels of popularity depending on where in the world they’re being played and can be influenced by the region’s gambling and betting regulations. Keep reading to find out more about popular games across the globe.
Asian Gambling Hotspots
Western civilization adopted casino-like structures known as gambling houses during the 17th century; similar structures began emerging in China since as early as 7th century. Unfortunately, although China boasts an ancient gambling history dating back centuries-long civilizations like Ancient China itself, gambling remains illegal on mainland China for at least thirty years; Hong Kong does have more relaxed rules regarding betting while there are at least thirty legal casinos present there too. These are home to over 1750 slot machines, while baccarat tables are also extremely popular.
Another Asian country that has a complicated relationship with gambling is Malaysia. Online betting and casino games have become increasingly popular in the country despite the regulatory grey areas; an updated list of sites in September 2023 shows the vast number of online casinos available in the Asian country. Some of the favorite games in Malaysia are slots, roulette, and sports betting.
Europe’s Favorite Gambling Pastimes
In Europe, online sports betting is the most popular gambling pastime, with 40% of the continent’s gambling revenue coming from this sector. This is not surprising, as there are many high-level sports leagues with loyal followers who love competition and thrill, not to mention the world-class athletes and teams competing in them. Online casinos come in second when it comes to gambling revenue, and have been increasing in popularity as more countries relax their regulations regarding real money online gambling.
It must also be noted that the Western version of the modern casino originated in 17th century Venice, with the first legal casino opening in 1638. Il Ridotto was a government-owned gambling house that hosted games of biribi and basetta. The former worked similarly to a lottery, while the latter was a combination of blackjack, poker, and rummy.
The Allure of American Casinos
The fact that the USA is host to some of the most famous casinos cannot be denied – from Las Vegas to Atlantic City, casino cities have appeared in many blockbuster films, and have hosted a wide variety of celebrities, heightening their popularity and fame.
Western countries embraced casino culture during the 17th century when gambling houses first came to Europe; similar institutions existed in China even earlier – dating back to at least the 7th century! Although gambling had long been legal in mainland China dating back thousands of years before European colonization, modern day mainland China currently prohibits any form of gambling activity; Hong Kong rules differ slightly; there are at least 30 licensed casinos operating legally across Macau alone.
The rise in popularity of Native American casinos must be also be noted because of the positive impact it has had on employment rates in the Native American community. These establishments have increased employment rates by 26%, and have also lowered the poverty rate in tribal communities. The mortality rate dropped by 22 in 100,000 in counties where casinos were opened. The overall impact of these casinos is positive, both for the local communities and the country’s economy.
African Gambling Trends
There has been an exponential growth in gambling on the African continent, mainly due to their love of football. While traditional casino games remain popular, there has been a boom in sports betting as fans show their support via sportsbooks.
Gambling regulations vary greatly throughout the continent. Gambling has been legal in South Africa since 1996 and is regulated by the National Gambling Act; Kenya also has a thriving gambling and betting industry, despite quarrels between the industry and the government about regulations and taxation.
One of the most popular games across the continent is 75-ball bingo, which is unique when comparing Africa to other continents. Poker is also a favorite among players, with a few world champions hailing from South Africa. In West African countries, Poté has become a popular gambling game, as it is fast-paced and the outcome can often be unpredictable.
South America’s Gambling Landscape
South and Central American gambling revenues are generated mainly in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia.
Brazilian gamblers prefer playing slots, sports betting and bingo both online and at land-based casinos. Gambling sites currently operate within an uncertain legal sphere which could change in coming months depending on an upcoming referendum result.
Gambling and betting are legal in Colombia and have seen phenomenal growth despite an economic recession. Punto Banco, poker, roulette, and slots are some of the casino games favored by Colombians.
Recently, the gaming industry in Mexico is exploding, despite being legal since 1947 and having a prominent role in Mexican society throughout its history. Turnover is high, and the impact that the industry is having on the local economy is huge; local games such as Siete and Loco are popular amongst players, as well as the more well-known casino games such as poker and roulette, while sports betting is also a solid favorite.