NFL Kickoff Brings Boost to Local Sportsbooks - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

NFL Kickoff Brings Boost to Local Sportsbooks

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Thursday night marks the beginning of the 2013 NFL season, as the defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens take on the Denver Broncos.

Tonight is also the kickoff to one of the biggest times of the year for local sportsbooks, with a lot of money changing hands.

47-percent of all sports bets in Nevada are put on football games.

"The counters are really busy," Terry Cox, Peppermill Race & Sportsbook Director said. "We're signing people up for our contests. We've got more contestants in our contests than any year before. People are ready for football."

$2.2 billion was bet in Nevada on football last year, and Cox says he expects that trend to continue this year.

"Football is almost half of our business and that's why we get all excited when this time of the year rolls around," Cox said.

Along with tonight's game, people are also putting money down on parlay cards for the weekend and betting on who will win this year's Super Bowl.

"I make my bets and I go home and watch it on TV," Keith Lawhorn said. "Me and my wife, we all get excited about it."

"Just the thrill, trying to win money," Heath Runyon said. "Keeps me more interested in the games I wouldn't be interested in, otherwise."

While football is good for betting, it also brings more people into the casinos to spend money in other areas.

"This is what our market still has," Cox said. "All those casinos in California do not have sportsbooks. So, if you want to bet the (San Francisco) 49ers, you've still got to drive up here to do it."

Now that football is in full swing, Cox says he's expecting a lot of business until a new champion is crowned, in February.

"Everything will be packed," Cox said. "Saturday, Sunday, it will look like New Year's Eve here."

Cox says things really started picking up last week, with the start of college football.  Especially Saturday, when the Wolf Pack played.

He says tonight's crowd will be just as big.

To see this week's parlay card, click here.

Written by Paul Nelson

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