NFL Lockout Impacts Sports Betting, Merchandise Sales - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

NFL Lockout Impacts Sports Betting, Merchandise Sales

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Adam Rasmussen
Channel 2 News 

The sports betting business is even bigger than most people realize. The Wynn Las Vegas Hotel reports sports books in the city are looking at $850 million in losses. 

Bettors and retailers carrying NFL merchandise locally are hoping the season will be back on soon.

"We've struggled a little bit," says Keith Lemby, Manager at Pro Image, a sports merchandise company. "For a whole, fans aren't interested without football.  There's nothing for them to be seen, there's no merchandise to be seen."

Lemby says if the lockout continues, it will have a big impact on sales. We also spoke with a sports company in Las Vegas that sells game-worn jerseys. They say nationally, that industry would lose up to $250 million every week. Lemby says if the NFL continues making progress ending the lockout, fans will take notice. 

"But now, we're getting to the end, sales are starting to pick up and now people are getting football fever," he says.

And sports books are really hoping the lockout ends soon too. Add in online betting and illegal sports books, there are reports that $500 billion is bet worldwide on football.

"Anytime you're losing that kind of money, I think that's probably why they're definitely probably happy a settlement is being made," says Austin Cole, who was betting on baseball games at Atlantis Casino. 

And no settlement is even official yet. Tom Tilton says take away NFL betting in Las Vegas, and it impacts the whole state. 

"If they were to lose gambling, tourism and all that stuff, it would kind of crush us," says Tilton, an NFL fan from Carson City.

Most fans we spoke with say getting NFL teams playing again, and getting the games back on TV is more important than any of the economic impact.

"I'm just ready for it to be over," says Lemby. "As a fan, we want football.  Let's get started, let's go.  You know, this is just, it's a drag."

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