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Football betting pushes gaming revenues up in September


By Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau

CARSON CITY – Football fever helped Nevada casinos win $892.7 million from gamblers in September for a modest 3.3 percent increase over September 2011, the state Gaming Control Board reported today.

Clark County reported a 3.7 percent gain, with the Las Vegas Strip posting a slight 1.2 percent increase with $496.8 million in revenues, the monthly report released today shows.


Photo by Mikerussell via Wikimedia Commons.

Most Southern Nevada markets reported increases in September, including a 6 percent gain in downtown Las Vegas and a 24.2 percent increase on the Boulder Strip.

Modest gains were reported across much of the rest of the state as well, with Washoe County posting a 0.6 percent gain, and South Lake Tahoe reporting a 5 percent increase in September over September 2011.

The slight increase in September came after a modest 3.1 percent decline in August.

Sports betting, particularly with the start of the NFL football season, was the major contributing factor for Nevada’s modest win, said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the state gaming agency.

Sports pools statewide won $53.4 million in September, an increase of 165.4 percent, or $33.3 million, over September 2011. The amount wagered was up 21.7 percent, or $75.1 million. And the amount “held” by the casinos was a strong 12.69 percent compared to 5.82 percent last year.

“Really what drove those results was football,” he said. “Football and sports pools total, the win amounts were record amounts for any month for the state in history. And then the handle, the amount wagered, was the second highest ever wagered for football and the highest amount ever for sports pools in total.”

Most bettors pick the favorites in sporting events and neither the college nor the NFL football teams did well in covering their point spreads in September, Lawton said. There were also two extra weekend days in September 2012 compared to September 2011 that helped drive the numbers.

The state had an overall gaming revenue increase of $28.7 million in September, and the sports pools were up $33.3 million by themselves, Lawton said.

“So without that it wouldn’t have been an increase for the state this month,” he said.

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