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Old 09-10-2015, 10:50 PM   #1
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Inside the world of sports betting

It's been said that Las Vegas is the happiest casino on Earth. It's not any easy place to hit the jackpot, but it has nearly 40 million visitors a year -- people who come to the bright glowing lights of Sin City with big dreams of winning.

Sports betting in general has always been a big deal here, but with football's growing popularity worldwide, it now rules the landscape.

"NFL is king. It's the best sport there is," said Tony Miller, director of the Golden Nugget Race and Sports book.

More money is wagered on football than any other sport combined. The explosion in fantasy football is fueling the phenomenon.

Football season is the best time of year for Vegas and it's bringing people to the casinos in droves.

"It's bringing a lot of people who maybe weren't interested in football in the past, making them interested now and in other sports. They are interested in knowing about all the players in the league. That's good for the NFL and good for the casinos," said Mike Leonard, senior vice president of Golden Nugget Casino Marketing.

The Sports book at Tilman Fertita's Golden Nugget casino in the heart of downtown Las Vegas is one of the busiest spots in the city on Sundays during football season. It was recently voted the No. 1 sports book in Vegas and the crowds seem to build there every year.

"We write millions here in the sports book alone every Sunday," Miller said.

Miller said while it's virtually impossible to win on a consistent basis, trying to leave Las Vegas richer than when you first arrived is not rocket science in the world of football betting.

To predict the future, you have to look closely at what happened in the past. That means do your homework and size up the two teams in a particular game.

"Don't bet with your heart. Don't bet on a team because you love them or because you live in the city," Miller said.

Mainstream media is also driving the trend. Miller said with the success of the HBSO series "Hard Knocks," the Houston Texans have become a favorite among football fans who know virtually nothing about the team.

"I had couple in here last week from Maine and the lady wanted to bet on the Houston Texans for the Super Bowl because she fell in love with J.J. Watt," Miller said.

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