For a state that’s constantly debating whether or not to institute a state lottery as a means to generate revenue, Alabama should probably consider a new report that ranks the Yellowhammer State as the least gambling-addicted state in the country.
In personal finance website WalletHub’s latest report of 2017’s Most Gambling-Addicted States, analysts found Alabama is neither gambling-friendly nor do its residents have the need to seek treatment for gambling addiction.
“Gambling disorder, as the affliction is known, affects slightly more than 2 percent of all U.S. adults,” writes WalletHub. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Gambling can stimulate the brain’s reward system much like drugs such as alcohol can, leading to addiction.”
“That addiction can lead to serious economic consequences,” WalletHub continued. “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. Most cannot afford to pay back what they owe. As a result, gambling addicts develop a high tendency to amass even more debt, suffer from other health issues, lose their jobs, strain their relationships or even commit crimes.”
In order to determine where gambling addiction is most prevalent and harmful in America, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states across two key dimensions, namely “Gambling-Friendliness” and “Gambling Problem & Treatment.” Alabama ranked 47 and 45, respectively.
WalletHub evaluated those two dimensions using 15 relevant metrics including: Commercial & Tribal Casinos per Capita;Gaming Machines per 1,000 Population; Share of Adults Aged 18 & Older with Gambling Disorders; Legality of Daily Fantasy Sports; Presence of Illegal Gambling Operations
Gambling addiction in Alabama (1= most addicted, 25= avg.):
- 36th: Casinos per capita
- 34th: Gaming machines per capita
- 45th: Lottery sales per capita
- 43rd: Gambling-related arrests per capita
- 36th: Legality of daily fantasy sports
Meanwhile, the most gambling-addicted state in the nation is Nevada, followed by South Dakota and Montana.
Here’s how Alabama compares to the rest of the country: