Gambling exists everywhere, even if it's not legal, in the United States. Years before I was of age to gamble legally, I learned how to play poker, blackjack, and of course learned to NOT bet on sporting events, when you don't know the game well. That being said, it would be hard to find someone who has never made a bet, bought a lottery ticket, or visited a casino. Those penny slots are great, I can make $2 last for an hour....

Gambling can cause a lot of problems, and when it starts to interfere with daily life, it could become an addiction. Gambling disorder as it's know can affect as many as 1-3 percent of adults in the United States,  and that addiction can lead to serious economic consequences. In the US, 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. Unfortunately, many cannot afford to pay back what they owe. As a result, gambling addicts develop a high tendency to amass even more debt, suffer from other health issues, lose their jobs, strain their relationships or even commit crimes.

If you feel like you, or someone you know, needs help with their gambling, you can reach out to National Council on Problem Gambling, their toll-free number is 1-800-522-4700.

The good people at Wallethub did a study on the prevalence of gambling by state, and the results were interesting. The top 5 states are:

  1. Nevada
  2. South Dakota
  3. Montana
  4. Mississippi
  5. Oklahoma

That Nevado garnered the number one spot is really no surprise. Minnesota is in the top third, sitting at number 12. The least addicted state? Utah. If you are going to gamble, where it is legal to do so, remember this: The house always has the advantage, and never bet more than you can afford to lose. Check out the story about the Powerball Winner in neighboring Wisconsin. Not everyone is this lucky.