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The president of the New York Stock Exchange says the stock market is not a casino. Here’s what academic research says.

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With the wild moves in GameStop GME’s stock,
+ 2.54%
and AMC Entertainment AMC,
-0.36%,
or last week among cannabis manufacturers, it is not illogical that some view the stock market as a casino, a description recently used by Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat of Massachusetts.

In one interview with Axios broadcast on HBO, Stacey Cunningham, Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, a unit of the Intercontinental Exchange ICE,
-0.21%,
said she rejected this comparison.

Markets are not a casino. They are very regulated and very supervised. We run a market that offers opportunities for investors to set up shop, invest in companies that they believe in, that believe they will grow, and then share this wealth creation. NYSE President Stacey Cunningham

Casinos, it should be noted, are also highly regulated and supervised, although unlike the stock market there are no long term positions that can be incorporated into, say, a game of blackjack.

Academic research suggests that stock trading and more traditional gambling have a little in common. An article published in January indicates that there are 3.5 times more bets in the stock markets than in more traditional places like casinos and lotteries.

The article by Alok Kumar of the University of Miami, Houng Nguyen of Danang University and Talis Putnins of the Sydney University of Technology and the Stockholm School of Economics indicates that the United States and Hong Kong have the highest per capita levels of what they call stocks – the market game in the world. They identify so-called lottery stocks by looking at volume divided by market cap and looking for unusually high ratios.

This does not mean that all stock market investments are games of chance. Researchers claim that around 15% of the stock market volume in the United States is associated with gambling, with a percentage as high as 30% in the stock markets of China and Thailand.

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