If you're a poor desperate person looking for a road to economic salvation, you need to stop dreaming about hitting a jackpot on the internet casino, and start looking for a job at an ad agency that helps convince other suckers to blow their money at internet casinos. Advertising for those fuckers is gonna be big.

How big? I would describe the size of the online gambling ad market as "astoundingly fucking big," if this Ad Age story is to be believed. Alexandra Bruell reports that Nevada casinos will start advertising their (newly legal) online gambling operations in a matter of months, and other states may soon come rushing in behind them. The "big winners" here (gambling joke)? Ad agencies, naturally:

According to Simon Holliday, director at H2 Gambling Capital, "somewhere between $3.5 billion and $4 billion could be spent by the internet-gaming sector" on marketing over the next five years. That's more than General Motors spent in U.S. advertising in 2011. And if Mr. Holliday is right, by 2017 the online-gambling industry will be spending nearly as much as the entire insurance category did last year.

So, more than the combined GDPs of Greenland and Belize is predicted to be spent convincing people on the internet to lose money gambling online, in the next five years. Traditionally, the only way to win at gambling has been to own a casino. You can now add "own an ad agency" to that list. This would be a great way to rescue the U.S. economy, if only every dollar earned were not coming out of the pocket of another poorer and more desperate U.S. citizen.

Please keep in mind that you, personally, will never win.

[Ad Age. Photo: Flickr]