ATLANTIC CITY – An extra Friday, good luck, better weather and maybe pent-up demand led the local casino industry to its second-best month ever in August.


The dozen casinos won $426.9 million from gamblers last month, an increase of 5.3 percent over the same period last year, according to unofficial figures obtained by The Press of Atlantic City.


The amount trails only July 2000, when the casinos won $429.3 million, in the industry’s ranking of highest-grossing months.


It was a pleasing end-of-summer result for the industry, which reported revenue declines in June and July. Gross gambling revenue during the three-month summer period was $1.2 billion, down 0.3 percent.


“This summer has been almost like a roller coaster. In July (gamblers) decide they do not want to come on weekends and last month they decide they do,” Sands Casino Hotel President Alfred Luciani said.


Several factors worked to the industry’s advantage last month:


[] Compared to last year’s August there was an extra Friday, which this year kicked off a packed Labor Day weekend in the city.


[] Casinos had good luck at the gaming tables, keeping 16.8 percent of the money exchanged into chips compared to 15.7 percent a year earlier.


[] Better weather compared to last year’s wet and relatively cool August.


Another, intangible factor may have helped casinos, Resorts Atlantic City President Audrey Oswell said.


“Perhaps there was too much focus on the economy in July and by August people realized that it wasn’t as bad as the publicity had led them to believe it was. So they had cabin fever and came out in August,” Oswell said.


“August started out strong for everybody and I believe it kept going right through Labor Day,” she said.


Through the first eight months this year, citywide Online Casino Singapore revenue was $2.9 billion, 0.6 percent behind last year’s pace. The industry has never reported an annual revenue decline in its 23 years.


“I think we’re going to finish the year slightly ahead,” Oswell said. “I think the …