Thursday, July 9, 2015

It's a Gamble

What with Donald Trump suddenly so very visible in the Media, Brigitte got to wondering just where gambling is classified in the U.S. economy and, furthermore, just how big it actually is. An earlier post here, measuring the advertising industry as percentage of Gross Domestic Product was in the background of this question. How does the gaming “industry” compare to advertising? No doubt, to be sure, matters of chance were on her mind too—in view of the rather awkward fact that she managed to break an arm when, accidentally, slipping as she got out of the shower…

Well, gambling is part of Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries (NAICS 713), specifically NAICS 7132, Gambling Industries. As best as I can determine, the industry’s revenues in 2013 were a shade over $33 billion, amounting to 0.2 percent of GDP in that year. Advertising, by contrast, was around 1.03 percent. Advertising is barely visible—and gambling is too small to see.

But if you go to Atlantic City and stand before the Trump Taj Mahal, especially when it’s lit up for the night, you get an altogether wrong impression of gambling’s importance—or Donald Trump’s as a presidential candidate. To be sure, if Trump triumphs, in both of his ventures—to get nominated or to rescue the Taj Mahal from bankruptcy— it will at least prove that our times are reaching the highest improbabilities even for a truly crazy state of the world. As for Brigitte, she’s got a few more  days before the present (sea-foam-green?) cast gives way to the (oyster-beige?) last one and the process of relearning to write with her right hand can be taken up in earnest…

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