How do gambling traditions differ around the world?

A look at how culture can influence our gambling preferences

Much like everything in life, gambling comes down to what you're used to, and what you have picked up growing up. In some corners of the world, gambling consists of sports betting; whereas in other countries, it could consist of the lottery and bingo which are the most popular forms of gambling. Of course, online gambling has changed the landscape and created new opportunities for all consumers.

Some countries are more accepting of gambling; just look at the amount of tourism that the sector brings to Las Vegas. However, in some cultures gambling interests largely depend on favourite sporting teams and traditions in lottery numbers. One thing is for sure, gambling is one of the most popular past times, but how does it differ around the world?

Japan

Whereas in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States there are an array of games that gamblers play - in Japan that isn't the case. The only game that reigns supreme in this country is pachinko. This is simply a pinball game with multiple balls in use. Players try and record as many points as possible by scoring goals; from here they can exchange the goals for prizes or more balls.

Amazingly, the places where this game is played- pachinko parlours- generate double the income that the country's auto industry does, and three times more than Las Vegas. This means that these parlours are extremely popular all round, and are incredibly lucrative for the economy. These locations date back to the 20's, when it was initially slated as a children's game, before being picked up by the gambling fans. Revenues have dipped in recent years, and nowadays the game is only popular among the older generation.

Spain

The lottery is famous throughout the world, but no country loves this form of gambling more than the Spanish, and there is one time of the year which stands out above the rest. The 'El Gordo' or 'the fat one' as it translates, is the most significant lottery in the world and has been a factor in every Spaniard's Christmas for the past 204 years.

The idea came from the government as a way to ensure that everybody had a chance of claiming a well-earned Christmas bonus, while the design of El Gordo reflects on the country's unwavering generosity. This is because family and friends often share tickets; meaning that if one of them wins, all of them win. The popularity of this lottery draw remains; with houses crowded around the television on the 22nd December waiting for the results and hoping that they are holding the lucky winning ticket that could see them win €4 million.

Norway

While countries such as China and the USA love poker and that is shown in the revenues from tourists in Macao and Las Vegas; it is another country that has the youngest interest in the game. Norway has developed a reputation over the past number of years for producing some of the best poker players. This was highlighted by 19-year-old Annette Obrestad becoming the youngest ever player to win the World Series in 2007.

The government retains the oversight in the gambling sector; much like the rest of Scandinavia; however, poker has slowly evolved into one of the most popular pastimes in Norway. The best ways to do this in the Scandinavian country are by visiting the state-operated venues at Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto. The latter of which is also the best place for sports betting, however, you should check out this resource for alternative methods of betting as each way betting on horse races isn’t a bet you can place in Scandinavia.

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