Nothing doing in New Jersey

Casting around the Internet for stories to comment on, I saw a promising headline: Newsweek would tell me exactly why Garden State casinos were having such a hard time. Here’s the first paragraph, but you should click through and read the whole thing, just for fun:

The Great Recession has brought more bad luck. According to a recent report by the American Gaming Association, casinos—a supposedly recession-proof sin business—shed revenue in 2008 and ’09. That’s the first two-year decline since the industry went national in 1978, and it hit the traditional gambling hubs hardest. Nevada suffered the steepest plunge in state history (more than 10 percent last year), while New Jersey slid about 13 percent, as more than a third of Atlantic City’s casinos declared bankruptcy.

via Gambling and the Great Recession in New Jersey – Newsweek.

It’s amazingly content-free. That article gives Seinfeld a run for its money in being about nothing. Seriously, besides recapitulating a few stats, there’s nothing there–no effort to explain why. Talk about bait and switch.

Author: Dave

Director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and author of several books, including Roll the Bones: The History of Gaming. Also Gaming and Hospitality editor for Vegas Seven magazine.

7 thoughts on “Nothing doing in New Jersey”

  1. Not a bad article for the busy person who doesn’t have time to read and doesn’t really need the hard-hitting academic analysis, I guess.

    From the article, I gleaned three causes of the “New Jersey bust”:

    ~ “The Great Recession”
    ~ “Societal change”
    ~ gambling proliferation (though the article failed to give this phenomenon a moniker)

    I don’t know if you can really put the blame for this on Newsweek, since they are competing with even more brief and superficial reports on TV. Remember, when you sell to the LCD, it sells good. And I don’t mean liquid crystal display.

  2. I read last month that the Washington Post put Newsweek magazine up for sale. It was once a great magazine, especially during the 1970s and 80s.

    Over the years its content just got weaker and weaker. They are blaming its decline in sales on the rise of the Internet, but there’s much more to the story than that. Not all magazines are dying-off because of the Internet. Newsweek lost its earlier perspective and objective to provide a ‘cutting edge’ weekly view of the world.

    It’s too bad when companies lose sight of their original goals.
    I finished that book titled ‘Publisher’, the biography of Henry Luce. He always struggled hard to keep Time mag, Life mag and Fortune mag on track and properly up-to-date.

    Life magazine eventually died in the early 1970s after a fantastic 35 year run of success as the main weekly provider of photo-news that provided Americans with a unique point-of-view on themselves.

    Luce kept his ‘March of Times’ newsreels playing in movie theaters for decades, even though their profit margin was slim. He was committed to journalism more than to the ‘bottom line’ of money. And his commitment eventually paid-off very well.

    When Life magazine had to shut down (due to the rise of TV and the loss of advertisers switching to TV advertising) Time-Life changed with the times and became quite successful (and profitable) with the publications of their Time-Life series of books.

    The Washington Post is dumping Newsweek instead of trying to inject some new way of making it function better in this age of the Internet. Henry Luce would have handled the situation much differently.
    (Off-topic comment):I was stunned to read that Henry Luce and his wife Claire Booth both took LSD. Claire said “it saved our marriage”.

    Weird huh?

  3. Schopenhauer, not a bad take, but one of my reasons for disgust is that Newsweek(as West Vegas says ” was once a great magazine”) is extremely late reporting the obvious.

  4. Very true. Have they gotten around to reporting the results of the presidential election yet?

  5. Why should this surprise you? It’s Newsweek. That magazine hasn’t had an article of substance or of any value since Watergate. And they only reason it covered that story well was that its parent company was the Washington Post! I heard that Newsmax has made a bid for the magazine. Now that would shake up the “journalists” there!

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