The Sun. (This was the headline on April 18, 2011.)
The Sun’s claim that Las Vegas’ $2 billion gambling industry is worth $2 billion “because of the Sun’s success with gaming” — “The Sun’s success with gaming” is not the same as its success with the Sun’s casino in Las Vegas, of course — is wrong: the Sun would have to make the Sun work for $2 billion, and that’s not going to happen.
How much real wealth is there in America’s casinos? Not much, if you think the Sun is trying to get rich in Vegas. According to the most recent figures available from the Gaming Control Board, U.S. casinos have $9.16 billion in net gaming revenue — down from $13 billion in 2005, and $21 billion in 2000, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores.
That’s a lot. Yet there’s hardly any mention of that $9.16 billion in the Sun’s “wealth” report, either here or in the Los Angeles Times. Instead, as the paper put it in its report on May 2, there’s “nothing but talk of casino boom, money flowing into the coffers of Sun employees and their families, and the rising power of the Sun as the country’s No. 1 newspaper.”
That seems appropriate. It says what Sun editors want to say: Las Vegas, the Sun and the $2 billion in gambling revenue.
In reality, there is almost nothing to talk about because the Sun is in no league on this issue, and the $2 billion in gambling revenue is a drop in the bucket compared with, say, the $600 million in revenue from the New York Knicks that the Sun has claimed all this while.
So why bother talking about it?
You have to understand why, if the Sun wanted the $2 billion to be a game-changer, it would keep saying it is so. Why else, when the company had $1.3 billion in revenue last year, would it go to the trouble to release a media release touting its own success — or, at least, some claim of success — in gaming for the media?
The answer is that the Sun wants people like the paper to believe it has a monopoly, which it does and that a newspaper is the best, or only, vehicle to get it. Because, to do otherwise would violate the law: the New York City law. And the Sun wants to
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