RENO, NV - When the NFL kicks off its season it means big business for sports books here in Nevada. Terry Cox, director of the race and sports book at the Peppermill, says football dominates when it comes to sports betting.
"It's almost half the business that we do. Everything else combined is the other half. So it's a lot of business. It's very, very busy for the next 5 months here," he says.
Since football is so big for sports books many casinos have to start preparing for the following season right after the Superbowl. Steve Mikkelson, manager of the race and sports book at Atlantis, says he has extra staff working on game days and has to prepare for large crowds.
"The crowds continue to get bigger every season and so we've brought in additional seating in anticipation of that," he says.
It seems that betting on football continues to grow in popularity because the ways you can bet on a game are constantly evolving.
"They just continue to add wagering options to keep fans involved in the game," says Mikkelson.
Sure, you can still pick the over-under on who you think will win the game, but now there are in-game wagers that break down by quarter and even season-long bets where you can really get a lot of bang for your buck.
"One of the most popular bets every year, it's growing exponentially, is this over-under number of season wins," says Cox.
Just to give you an idea of how many different ways you can bet on a game, some sports books offer as many as 300 kinds of wagers during the Superbowl. Some of those have now carried over into the regular season. Many casinos are even starting to offer mobile apps that allow you to place bets from your smartphone. Since Nevada is one of the only states where sports betting is legal, it draws people from all over to the biggest little city in the world every weekend during football season.
"Sports books are still one of the things that Nevada has that bring customers in," says Cox.
So don't be surprised if you run into a line when going to place a bet on your favorite team this Sunday.