Group playing the tables at a casino, one man wearing Elvis style sunglasses, Las Vegas, USA, 2000s
Group playing the tables at a casino, one man wearing Elvis style sunglasses, Las Vegas, USA, 2000s. PYMCA—Getty Images/UIG

This State Has the Worst Gambling Addiction

May 09, 2016

Whenever legalizing gambling is discussed, it becomes a seriously contentious issue, for obvious reasons—fun and games can quickly spiral out of control into addiction. Gambling may not be legal in many states, but its addiction is a fairly sizable and expensive problem that affects over 2% of the population and had a total social cost of $7 billion in 2013, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Certain states, however, have it worse than others.

According to a recent WalletHub analysis -- which compared 13 metrics that compared "gambling friendliness" with "gambling problem and treatment" -- Nevada, home to Las Vegas, was in fact the worst state in the union for gambling addiction. It was the second most gambling-friendly place and ranked number 12 for gambling problems.

Here is WalletHub's full ranking of all 50 states.

Source: WalletHub
Overall Rank
(1 = Most Addicted)
StateTotal Score‘Gambling-Friendliness’ Rank‘Gambling Problem & Treatment’ Rank
1Nevada57.00212
2South Dakota56.62128
3Mississippi48.94131
4Montana48.75338
5Oklahoma46.70431
6West Virginia45.15711
7New Jersey44.66910
8Oregon43.86538
9Delaware40.84636
10North Dakota38.96837
11Louisiana37.761214
12Idaho37.511119
13Maryland36.56245
14Tennessee36.48254
15Wyoming34.671618
16Rhode Island34.631523
17Ohio33.081725
18South Carolina32.88287
19Colorado32.231434
20Connecticut31.691927
21Illinois31.24413
22New Mexico31.211049
23Virginia31.132029
24Pennsylvania30.982130
25Massachusetts30.981832
26New Hampshire30.88309
27Hawaii30.55492
28California28.842233
29Missouri27.93446
30Georgia27.163315
31Arkansas26.913217
32Minnesota26.803613
33New York26.762346
34Iowa26.032642
35Michigan25.532741
36Texas25.05478
37Vermont23.074019
38Washington22.453443
39Maine22.194324
40Florida22.003544
41North Carolina21.554616
42Alaska20.924519
43Kentucky20.633148
44Wisconsin20.323935
45Indiana19.592950
46Kansas19.403845
47Arizona19.163747
48Alabama19.134238
49Nebraska18.604826
50Utah18.184919
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