New Yorkers Still Spending Money On Booze, Cigarettes And Lottery Tickets

We’ve noted repeatedly that the financial meltdown seems to be fueling a rise in sales of cheap alcohol (makes sense) and a few weeks ago, we said that rudimentary Craigslist research indicates that the illegal-drug market is still booming.

But alcohol and illegal drugs aren’t the only vices people are still willing to spend money on, sales of cigarettes are still clipping along nicely (not to condone smoking, but we imagine it probably would be more expensive—and quite stressful—to quit) and lottery tickets are also flying off of newsstands (sadly this also kind of makes sense, but we think that money would be better saved than spent in small increments).

amNY’s Urbanite blog: Alcohol, alongside other vices like tobacco and gambling, is historically recession-resilient. As other sectors crumbled, their sales in New York have held steady, even increasing in some cases…

More than 80 per cent of American consumers spent the same amount or more on booze in 2008 compared to the previous year, according a Nielsen Company survey, which calls them “an affordable luxury.” Cheaper drinks are faring best. Value wine sales (those costing less than $9) increased 5.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2008, Nielsen reported…

The state lottery, too, seems solid, even as gambling struggles at the national level. In New York, sales of Mega Millions, scratch-offs and similar games increased by 1.4 per cent in the second half of 2008 compared to the previous year, while video lottery sales — like those at Empire City at Yonkers Raceway — jumped 13.7 per cent…

Tobacco behemoth Phillip Morris International, which manufactures Marlboro cigarettes, saw a 20 per cent jump in profits, according to its most recent report.
New York cigarette taxes are among the highest in the nation, but the cost hasn’t driven everyone away.

See Also: People Still Willing To Buy Illegal Drugs
Economic Downturn Fuels Increase In Bourbon, Scotch Sales In Manhattan
Wall Street Crisis Fuels Scotch And Vodka Sales

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