April 25, 2017
Bet you can't guess which Mid-Atlantic state is the most addicted to gambling.
WalletHub, a personal finance website, published a study Tuesday examining the betting habits of residents in all 50 U.S. states, recognizing New Jersey No. 6 on a list on where excessive gambling is most common. Pennsylvania ranked 27th while Delaware narrowly missed the Top 10 at No. 11.
New Jersey's spot on the list might not be surprising. The Garden State became the first eastern state to legalize casino gambling when voters approved an effort in 1974. However, the presence of legalized casino gambling was just one factor that affected rankings.
To compile the list, researchers examined 15 key metrics including lottery sales, the rate of gambling disorders and reported illegal gambling operations.
New Jersey's rank was bolstered by the negative aspects of betting. In the "Gambling Problem and Treatment" category, the state ranked third thanks to the third-highest gambling-related arrests per capita and the fourth-highest percentage of adults with gambling disorders.
Compulsive gambling costs the nation an estimated $6 billion per year, according to experts from the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Of course, Nevada was ranked first for most gambling-addicted state. South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi rounded out the Top 5.