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How much do Americans spend on gambling every year?

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According to the 2006 Gross Annual Wager Report, Americans lost nearly $91 billion on all forms of gambling combined.4 The National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC) noted that Americans spend more on gambling than on recorded music, theme parks, video games, spectator sports and movie tickets combined.5 Americans lost $32.4 billion gambling in commercial (non-Indian) casinos alone (2006).6 But the question remains, how much money do Americans gamble (losses and wins combined)? Consider that the majority of money taken by casinos comes from slot machines. An average for payout on slots is 90 cents on every dollar (or 90 percent return).7 If casino revenues ($91 billion) are considered representative of the gambling trade's gross revenue (about 10 percent of all money wagered), then we can estimate that Americans likely spent close to $910 billion total on all forms of gambling in 2006. Not all forms of gambling return 90 percent, but we can use this for a ballpark estimate. ( ... more
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