We all gamble. You might play fantasy sports or enter a March Madness pool, for example. Or perhaps you jaywalk on occasion, betting you won’t get hit by a car. But relatively few of us have a gambling addiction, which can destroy your finances, ruin your relationships, and ultimately destroy your life if unchecked. Gambling addictions, like all addictions, are no laughing matter. And they’re more common in some places than others.
An analysis from WalletHub ranks the 50 states from top to bottom to see which are the most “gambling-addicted.” And the report lays out just how serious of a problem gambling addictions can be.
“On a societal level, compulsive gambling costs an estimated $6 billion per year, according to a study by the National Council on Problem Gambling. Individually, a male gambling addict accumulates an average debt of between $55,000 and $90,000 whereas a female averages $15,000,” according to WalletHub.
“WalletHub’s analysts therefore compared the 50 states to determine where excessive gambling is most prevalent. Our data set of 15 key metrics ranges from presence of illegal gambling operations to lottery sales per capita to share of adults with gambling disorders,” the report said.
Let’s take a closer look at the 15 states most addicted to playing the odds.
Gambling might give you a Rocky Mountain high, and in Colorado, that’s a relatively serious problem. Per WalletHub’s analysis, Colorado earned a “gambling-friendliness” rank of 17 and a “gambling problem and treatment” ranking of 18. All told, Colorado is fairly in the middle of the pack when it comes to gambling. The state doesn’t rank within the top five in any of WalletHub’s specific categories.
Next: We head to the East Coast.