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Which Southern States Have the Biggest Gambling Industries?

Expert estimates place global gambling revenue in 2023 at more than $263 billion. Many countries compete to be at the top as the gambling industry offers lucrative revenue potential and tax revenue, by extension, alongside an increase in tourism and the local job market expansion.

Some of the best representatives in the industry, which we’ll compare the South to, are examples of how the potential of the gambling industry can best be realized, with ample room for expansion.

How Does the South Compare to the Rest of the World?

The lion’s share of the global gambling market falls to Australia, where in all its forms, the industry has amassed an impressive $197.9 billion in 2023, proving that there is a market for regulated, quality and entertaining content. With fierce competition trying to win over each customer, it can be hard to make the right choice. Luckily for many players, Emilija Blagojevic has compiled a list of some of the best Australian online casinos, aiming to provide top-notch gambling to every player.

It’s important to note that the Northern Territory of Australia is predominant in the industry and that over 70 percent of all Australians have indulged in some form of gambling since 2022. Electronic gaming machines, or pokies as they are referred to locally, lotteries or scratchies, horse and greyhound racing, keno and bingo, and real money online casino sites all make for the total result. As the industry grows, the competition can only get fiercer, leading to better offers for the end player.

Another huge global player is the UK. Most forms of gambling are legal and well-regulated here, including in-person and online sports betting, casino gaming, bingo and lotteries. The nation has a long-rooted gambling culture dating back hundreds of years and even has interest from the royal family, in the form of horse racing. The industry is worth a massive $15.1 billion (almost $19 billion), over $4 billion of which came from the country’s National Lottery. Gambling creates 110,000 jobs in the UK and generates $4.2 billion annually in tax.


The Sunshine State could grow to over a billion dollar gambling industry before 2024 ends, making it one of the fastest growing and potentially largest states in the U.S. to do so. Nevada is facing heavy competition if Texas manages to legalize other forms of gambling, while California may have the best potential, it’s still far from a fully regulated gambling state. All of which lead to Florida being on the rise among the gambling community. Native American casinos, pari-mutuel wagering, jai-alai betting, casino gambling, slots and others are just some of the Florida offers, and if any player considers moving to Florida, its 35 registered casinos have plenty to offer.


The Pelican State is on track to solidify its position as a major player in the U.S. gambling industry, with commercial gaming revenue hitting an impressive $2.7 billion in revenue by the end of 2023. Louisiana’s gambling offerings include riverboat casinos, racinos, Native American casinos and video poker establishments, offering a diverse range of gaming options that attract visitors from neighboring states and beyond.

New Orleans’ historic charm and vibrant culture draw many players, both tourists and locals, to its major casinos, including Harrah’s New Orleans. Baton Rouge and Shreveport also contribute significantly to the state’s gambling revenue with their numerous casinos and gaming venues. The legalization of sports betting in 2021 has further boosted the industry, attracting sports enthusiasts who flock to place their bets at various licensed venues.

In addition to traditional casino gambling, Louisiana has embraced online gaming, allowing residents to participate in daily fantasy sports and other internet-based gambling. However, like in many other states, online casino gaming is only available through offshore casinos that are based and licensed outside the U.S.


Relatively close to Oklahoma lies another prosperous state with a rich gambling industry, the Magnolia State. Mississippi is home to 30 casinos, which is only a fraction of Oklahoma’s capacity but is still ranked as the fifth-largest U.S. market for gambling, and in 2022, the industry’s revenue was $2.6 billion, coming close to Oklahoma’s high mark. Of the mentioned $2.6 billion, roughly $1.6 billion came from the Mississippi Gulf Coast region, and similarly to Oklahoma, the tourists from Tennessee and Arkansas make up most of the players.

Just as South Korea has its gambling haven on Jeju Island, making up for most of the country’s revenue from gambling, so does the state of Mississippi focus on its Gulf Coast area. The reason behind the success of the Mississippi gambling industry lies in its convenient location, the placement of casinos alongside the Mississippi River and many cruising events and festivals that drive tourism towards the state and its casinos.

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