Interestingly, though, people tend to spend less on so-called sin industries like alcohol and cigarettes during recessions. The reason, some experts say, is not that people stop indulging during lousy times, but that they cut back some or downgrade the quality of their favorite vice.
For example, the National Restaurant Association reported that wine sales "by the glass" rose sharply as whole bottle sales slumped in 2008. And the Beer Institute said that beer sales in restaurants dropped in 2008, while wholesale beer sales from cheaper stores went up [source: Cohn].
While Vegas claims that its casinos have only seen a drop in revenues once since 1970 (9/11), other sources assert that gambling certainly suffers during a recession. The real payday for casinos is when the economy is hot and everyone is feeling lucky [source: Beattie].
Porn used to be the classic recession-proof industry, but developments in technology have left the sector "exposed" to tons of free online content [source: Shiffman].