WalletHub Study Ranks Pennsylvania as 9th Most Gambling Addicted State

Derek Blake pic
Derek Blake
Casino News


  • Pennsylvania ranks as 9th most gambling addicted state according to WalletHub study
  • Gambling disorder affects roughly 1-3 percent of all adults in United States
  • U.S. adults drop over $100 billion per year in losing bets

As PA sports betting and casino play becomes more popular in Pennsylvania, so does the number of problem gamblers. With 13 casinos in Pennsylvania and easy access to online sports betting and PA online casinos, players within the Keystone State have multiple options when it comes to gaming entertainment.

A recent study by the website WalletHub aimed to rank the states according to gambling addiction and the Keystone State ranked 9th among all 50 states.

The study was based upon 20 metrics including casinos per capita, lottery sales within the state, illegal gambling operations, and the presence of gambling addiction treatment programs.

When it comes to ranking only gambling friendliness, WalletHub listed Pennsylvania as the 6th most, behind states such as Nevada, South Dakota, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. 

However, the study also gave high marks to state regulators when it came to gambling problem and treatment services as Pennsylvania found itself among the five best in the nation. The top four states ahead of Pennsylvania includes New Mexico, Connecticut, Iowa, and Michigan.

WalletHub’s Study Backs Up Penn State’s High Addiction Rate Findings

Earlier this month, a study from Penn State found that 30% of all Pennsylvania gamblers admitted to a gambling addiction. Of those admitting a problem, roughly a third said they wagered more than they could afford to lose.

The Penn State study found that the prototypical bettor in Pennsylvania wagered on sports, made over $50,000 per year, and was a white male in their 30s. According to the WalletHub study, the average male addicted to gambling owes between roughly $55,000 and $90,000 to debtors, while the typical female gambling addict carries $15,000 in average debt.

Pennsylvania’s Responsible Gambling Initiatives Among the Top in United States

With U.S. adults losing over $100 billion per year in gambling, regulators in each state put safeguards to help stem the tide of problem gambling.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PCGB) has introduced several self-exclusion programs to help bettors curb their potential losses. Players can set betting limits on gambling apps and websites plus take “gambling timeouts” to help them minimize the possibility they could fall into problem gambling.

In recent months, the PCGB has cracked down on suggestive language in betting advertisements that promise free bets. The board handed out over $60,000 in fines to operators in an effort to regulate problem gambling.

Derek Blake is a freelance writer that has covered the expansion of legal sports betting in America and the regional casino business for several well-known industry websites. During his writing career, he has written profiles on dozens of athletes and focused on the collision of sports and politics.