I'd be willing to wager a small sum that our state is a lot more into rolling the dice than you might imagine.

Then again, if you're on your way to one of the gambling boats that populate our region, or are saying your prayers each night in the hope that Rockford (or Beloit) gets a casino in the near future, you may know exactly how much Illinois digs games of chance.

Personal finance website WalletHub wanted to know which states were more "gambling-addicted," so they crunched the numbers to come up with "2018’s Most Gambling-Addicted States."

Here's what WalletHub's numbers-crunchers looked at to make their determinations:

Gambling disorder, as it’s known, affects about 1-3 percent of all U.S. adults. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Gambling can stimulate the brain's reward system much like drugs such as alcohol can, leading to addiction. For example, U.S. consumers experience over $100 billion per year in total gambling losses. 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. WalletHub therefore compared the 50 states to determine where excessive gambling is most prevalent. Our data set of 19 key metrics ranges from presence of illegal gambling operations to lottery sales per capita to share of adults with gambling disorders.

Before we get to the Illinois numbers, here are WalletHub's top 5 most gambling-addicted states:

1) Nevada (big surprise, there)

2) South Dakota

3) Montana

4) Mississippi

5) Louisiana


Next, the 5 least gambling-addicted states:

46) North Carolina

47) Utah

48) Kentucky

49) Alabama

50) Nebraska

As for Illinois, we're much closer to the "most-addicted," rather than the "least-addicted." The Land of Lincoln comes in at the #9 spot overall, just behind New Jersey, and just ahead of Oklahoma.

Gambling Addiction in Illinois (1=Most Addicted, 25=Avg.):
  • 25th – Gaming Machines per Capita
  • 21st – Lottery Sales per Capita
  • 9th – % of Adults with Gambling Disorders
  • 1st – Gambling-Related Arrests per Capita
  • 5th – Legality of Sports Gambling


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