LAS VEGAS (AP) — Perhaps the biggest touchdown this September happened inside Nevada's sports books.
State gambling revenues of $893 million were up 3.3 percent in September compared with the same month a year ago, boosted by the state's casinos winning a record amount from sports betting and gamblers putting down the second-highest amount of money ever on football.
"Football had an incredible month," said Michael Lawton, senior analyst with the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Nevada casinos won $43.5 million from football, which is 13.9 percent of the $313 million bettors put down on the games. That's a much higher rate than the year average — casinos typically keep 6.8 percent of the football pool.
The banner month can be linked to more weekend days than usual, and some of bettors' favored teams not pulling through.
"The public likes betting on the favorites," Lawton said. "All the moons lined up on the books."
Most regions in the state saw their casino winnings pick up over the previous year. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip brought in $497 million in September, up 1.2 percent, while downtown casinos won $44 million, up 6 percent. The Boulder Strip's $67 million haul was 24 percent up from the same month in 2011.
Reno revenues of $49 million were up almost 1 percent, while South Lake Tahoe's $18 million win was up 5 percent.
For the quarter ending in September, casino winnings are up almost 6 percent year-over-year.
While sports betting took the limelight, other gambling revenue also ticked up. Nevada slot machine winnings in September were up just over 1 percent, while table game winnings were up 7.7 percent.
State officials say they also saw a big jump in tax revenue collected off the winnings. The state's takeaway amounted to $71 million, which is a 38 percent year-over-year jump.
That can be attributed to credit play — casinos collecting on markers they've previously issued.
Also among the factors boosting September's revenue was Mexican Independence Day weekend in the middle of the month.
Las Vegas enticed revelers with Spanish-language concerts and fights featuring Mexican boxers, which Lawton said likely ramped up tourism and gambling.