World's largest sportsbook at Las Vegas Westgate to partner with Lodge Casino in Black Hawk
Wednesday 15th April 2020
The world's largest sportsbook, located one block east of the Las Vegas Strip, spans over 30,000-square feet inside the Westgate resort and casino with hundreds of televisions, monitors and seats for an all-inclusive sports gambling experience.
It's called the SuperBook, and starting next football season, its vision is coming to Colorado.
When sports gambling is legalized here starting May 1, the industry giant will expand outside of Nevada for the first time in history to partner with the Lodge Casino in Black Hawk, it was announced in a joint statement Monday. Efforts to launch a mobile betting app next month have been delayed by the ongoing pandemic and subsequent cancellation/suspension of most sports globally.
However, plans are developing to construct a retail sportsbook at Lodge Casino with the renovation of existing space to mirror SuperBook's Las Vegas operation (on a smaller scale). And, if social distancing guidelines are relaxed by early fall, the goal is to open by the start of football season.
"We're going to make it as attractive, accessible and comfortable as we can," said Jay Kornegay, a Colorado State graduate who oversees SuperBook as vice president of race and sports for Westgate Resorts. "We hope to have a 360-degree experience between drinks, food and a great environment to watch games. That's about as close as you can get to Vegas."
Another notable aspect of the Westgate/Lodge Casino partnership is the likely expansion of its NFL SuperContest: a season-long handicapping competition that draws thousands of participants each year. With a $1,500 entry fee, players pick five games each week against the spread with one point awarded per correct pick and a half-point per tie (push).
The points leader after 17 regular season weeks takes home the grand prize, which was a stunning $1.46 million in 2019.
Don't expect that total in Year 1 for Colorado, though, as Kornegay said the entry will likely drop to $500 to grow participation. The SuperContest is also not limited to the NFL as the Lodge Casino expects a wide menu of contest types after further approval from the state's division of gaming.
"The goal is to bring the SuperContest to Colorado," said JJ Garcia, general manager at Lodge Casino. "I know they've had conversations with regulators to enable us to do that."
James Salinas, a Denver resident and highly successful sports gambler, won the 2015 NFL SuperContest and took home more than $914,000. He is driven by the competitive nature of sports betting and said his success stems from going beyond statistics to analyze the psyche of teams, coaches and players.
Salinas said he is thrilled that Colorado will be home to a true Las Vegas landmark with SuperBook at Black Hawk.
"There's definitely going to be a learning curve with your novice folks," Salinas said. "A word of advice for any fan is that you've got to bet with your head, and not with your heart."