You might figure that more Americans since the great recession of 2008, have been (when there're not on Facebook) looking for a lucky payoff squeezing out some hard earned dollars at casinos—at the fruit machines as the British would say.
Even if not included, Las Vegas—the city billionaire Howard Hughes put on the map in the 1960’s, in the yearly vacation plan, it seems to make sense more Americans are gambling at local casinos. And online, sites like Casino.org are in business claiming to offer the "most trusted casino guide" in online gambling platforms. Are more Americans actually gambling? The facts showed otherwise two years after the recession.
There’s been lots of talk about the recession. Nobel Prize winning economists Paul Krugman has called it a depression. What’s the difference? The economic definition of a recession is when there’s “a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity.” Indicators of a slowdown are a drop in the Gross National Product, employment and investment spending. Economist Krugman is quoted as saying “it’s time to start calling the current situation what it is: depression. True it’s not a full replay of the Great Depression, but that’s cold comfort.” But whether it’s being called a recession or depression, Americans are addicted to gambling.
According to author McKay Coppins in 2010, “a supposedly recession-proof sin business—shed revenue in 2008 and ’09.” He also reports that “casinos are being challenged by new ways to wager, including slot machines and racetracks, as cash-strapped states look for alternative tax revenues.”
In 2012 the American Gaming Association reported that casinos were making a comeback. Frank Farenkopf, AGA’s president says of the recovery, “while it may be slow, the recovery of the national commercial casino industry is well under way.” The largest market, Las Vegas took in over $6 billion last year, while casinos nationwide made profits of over $3 billion. For some states gambling counts has significant revenue. In Delaware gambling revenues account for 7 percent of the general fund budget. In fact many states have competed for the gambling dollars to bring revenue and employment.
How does the UK compare with US gambling habits? In November 2012, “the industry made 5.6 billion pound profit in 2011.” The profit is just over a billion less than profits made in Las Vegas.
Despite hard times in UK as well, people are gambling despite it. And despite the early drop in casino gambling the first two years after the US recession, casinos are making big profits.
Whether gambling as a historical pastime that Americans can’t resist or something they do to beat any economy good, bad, or both, gambling and the gambling industry continues to win big.