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Bryan Yurcan
Bryan Yurcan
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The REAL Economic Impact of the Olympic Games

The 2012 Olympic Games have certainly provided the world with several memorable moments. From Queen Elizabeth parachuting out of a plane with James Bond, to all of the stellar athletic displays, the London Games have left an indelible mark on many. Beyond the emotional impact, the Games also have had quite a financial impact. Here are some of the most interesting (and off-the-wall) economic figures surrounding this year's Olympics.




1. Happiness is a Warm Olympics

They say happiness can't be measured in financial figures, but British bank Lloyd's disputes that notion. Based on analysis of other sporting events, Lloyd's anticipated that London 2012's positive effect on the public mood will lead to improved consumer confidence, which will result in a rise in consumer spending and, therefore GDP. The bank measures the "happiness effect" of the games as the equivalent of a gift of ~165 pounds (US$257) to each man, woman, and child in England.




3. Lifting the (Distilled) Spirits

According to Visa, another Olympics sponsor, spending at food and drink establishments during the week of the opening games on Visa cards increased 8.3 percent from the same week during the previous year in the U.K. Bottoms Up!


4. ATM Blues

Usually, banking customers never have to worry about locating an ATM quickly if they are low on case, unless maybe they are driving on a deserted Badlands highway. However, cash-hungry consumers at the Olympics may disagree. According to British paper The Telegraph and other reports, the Olympic venues only feature 8 ATMs to serve some 11 million customers. The ATMS also only dispense cash to those with a Visa-branded card.


5. Tourist Spending

According to Visa, spending by international visitors in the U.K. on Visa cards totaled ~445.3 million pounds (US$696 million) during the week of July 23-29. Visitors from the U.S. account for ~54.6 million pounds (US$85.3 million) of that figure. Retail, Services and Entertainment sectors among the biggest beneficiaries of international spend, according to the card scheme.



5. ATM Blues

Usually, banking customers never have to worry about locating an ATM quickly if they are low on case, unless maybe they are driving on a deserted Badlands highway. However, cash-hungry consumers at the Olympics may disagree. According to British paper The Telegraph and other reports, the Olympic venues only feature 8 ATMs to serve some 11 million customers. The ATMS also only dispense cash to those with a Visa-branded card.

 

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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