Downtown Las Vegas’ latest sportsbook went live on June 1 when Circa Sports opened its first bet shop at the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino.
Brothers Derek and Greg Stephens – who own the Golden Gate as well as The D Las Vegas casino on Fremont Street – created Circa Sports over the last few years by hiring top talent from Sin City’s local gaming industry. Sportsbook director Matt Metcalf was poached from the Westgate Superbook, while vice president of operations holds the same position at Golden Gate and The D.
Circa Sports is Derek Stevens’ brainchild, however, and he was on hand to ring the opening bell ushering in a new era of local bookmaking in Las Vegas:
“The bell has rung, and we are thrilled to be taking bets of all kinds with Circa Sports. We intend to bring that old-school Las Vegas vibe to the floor, so there was no better place to bring this to life than in Las Vegas’ most historic hotel, Golden Gate.”
The Golden Gate location spans 1,297 square feet, including a video wall, LED screens to display odds and schedules, and a pair of self-service betting kiosks.
A secondary venue will be added to The D on June 19, but the early incarnations of Circa Sports are only a precursor to Stevens’ plans to open the biggest bet shop ever built.
Construction of Circa Resort & Casino – the first ground-up establishment to hit Downtown Las Vegas since 1980 – is currently underway.
And when the 1.25 million square feet of hotels, gaming floors, and other amenities opens in December of 2020, the centerpiece Circa Sportsbook will cover three stories.
Exact details on square footage haven’t been released just yet, but when Stevens announced his vision for Circa Resort & Casino, he specified that the onsite sportsbook would become the world’s largest:
“When you think of a sportsbook … we want to create that ‘wow’ moment. We want to create something that people don’t forget. For me, I’ll never forget that moment I walked into the Las Vegas Hilton (now Westgate) SuperBook. I looked around, and I thought to myself, ‘my god, this is the greatest place on Earth right here.’
When you come close to the sportsbook you’ll see the VSiN studio overlooking the 3-story largest sportsbook in Las Vegas history. It’s going to make every guest that comes here want to take a picture and want to make a bet and want to go home and tell all their friends that they were there.”
The Westgate Superbook currently bills itself as the world’s largest sportsbook at more than 30,000 square feet.
As Stevens told the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently, the point-spread based Circa Sports Million will provide players with multiple ways to win throughout the season-long competition:
“We’re guaranteeing $1.5 million in the football contest, a million to the winner, $300,000 to places second through 10th and then we’re guaranteeing $50,000 to the winner of each quarter, so the months of September, October, November and December.
The entry fee is $1,000 and with us doing this, there’s no rake and that’s kind of a pretty big deal. Every dollar that gets put into the contest is paid back 100 percent to all of the contestants.”
Metcalf told the newspaper that Stevens’ own penchant for making major sports betting plays inspired him to add a $1 million guaranteed payout for the contest’s first champion:
“The whole thing was born out of Derek making these big bets the past few years. He really likes the idea of someone having the chance to win $1 million. He experienced that firsthand and how exciting it was, and he wanted someone else to have that.”