The house always wins
The Herald has a good story about gambling: the total expenditure net of winnings is $2 billion/year, [update or $16billion gross] about $3600 per capita. That’s quite a lot. For example, looking at the Retail Trade Survey, it’s about twice what we spend on alcohol, and about the same as expenditures on all recreational goods.
What’s harder to tell is how the expenditures break down across
- gambling as entertainment
- people who incorrectly think they can beat the Martingale Optional Sampling Theorem
It’s quite possible that the last category is a large fraction of total expenditure, while being a small fraction of total people.
[update: the $3600 figure includes winnings. Losses are a more plausible $450/capita]
Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. See all posts by Thomas Lumley »