In the United States, gambling takes place everywhere. Even though gambling is technically banned in Utah and Hawaii, I'd bet every dollar I have under the table or illegal gambling takes place in both of these states. We see all kinds of stories about Iowa lottery winners winning massive amounts of money buying scratch-off tickets at convenience stores.

What about fantasy sports? Is that gambling? While it might not legally be considered gambling...gambling is defined as "the act of engaging in a game by placing a bet with the hope of gaining money or property on the outcome of a future event" according to Algamus Gambling Treatment. I suppose it's up to you to decide if partaking in a fantasy football league is gambling.

Unsplash - Aidan Howe
Unsplash - Aidan Howe

Gambling on sports has only grown in popularity over the past two years. According to Yahoo, sports betting hit record numbers last year and has increased 75% since 2021. The state of Iowa is one of 22 states where betting on sports has been legalized. As Iowa is one of the states that has legalized sports betting, I'd guess it would be one of the top states addicted to gambling. It turns out that is not really the case.

Gambling disorder affects about 1-3% of U.S. adults, according to Wallet Hub. When someone is placing bets, this "rush" can have the same effect on a person's brain just like drugs or alcohol can, and it can lead to gambling addiction. With sports betting being legal in the Hawkeye State, I wanted to know how addicted to gambling the state of Iowa is.

Wallet Hub used 20 key metric ranges to figure out which states are most addicted to gambling. These metrics range from illegal gambling operations, lottery sales per capita, and the share of adults with gambling disorders. Iowa comes in at 18.

Source: WalletHub

Going to casinos, placing bets on sports, or buying the occasional lottery ticket can be something you do socially for fun but it's important to gamble responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem they can call 1-800-BETSOFF or visit the website

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