When David Siegel’s Westgate Resorts officially took over the LVH last month, he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he planned to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars” in his new acquisition and that there wouldn’t be “one inch of this property that won’t be improved on.”
That certainly sounded like good news for the Superbook, arguably the most renowned sportsbook in the entire betting world. But Siegel hadn’t specifically mentioned much about the book – until Thursday night. Suffice to say, the Westgate founder and CEO has every intention of taking the Superbook to the next level.
“The Superbook has a long history of being the biggest and best, not just in Las Vegas, but around the world,” Siegel told Covers via email. “I am fully committed to updating it with state-of-the-art equipment, new seating, and transitioning it to put a greater emphasis on sports betting.”
Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports for the now renamed Westgate Las Vegas, definitely shared his new boss’s enthusiasm.
“We’re excited about all the new changes on the horizon. It’s been long overdue,” Kornegay, who has run the Superbook since 2004, tells Covers. “All the team members, not just the race and sports crew, but everybody on the property is excited to have David Siegel here. With his commitment and dedication to the product, we’re eager to see it transform (the property).”
Siegel’s pronouncement was also welcome news in the sports betting world. Covers Expert and Las Vegas resident Ted Sevransky said the Superbook is the gem of the property.
“That is the centerpiece of their establishment... they’ll recognize the value they have in the Superbook,” Sevransky says.
It appears that will indeed be the case, though Sevransky took it a step further, saying one of the key reasons the Superbook has enjoyed so much success is because of Kornegay. Going forward, Sevransky said the new owner needs to stick with the winning formula.
“The LVH has clearly been an industry leader, and they’ve done that in large part because Jay has got a lot of freedom to operate. Not carte blanche, but more leeway and latitude than those at other sports books. It’s never a good thing when you change off of that,” Sevransky says. “That being said, there is no reason to think the new ownership is going to rein in Jay.”
In fact, if anything, it sounds like Kornegay will have an upgraded domain to oversee. A Westgate spokesperson stated the company was looking at major renovations for the Superbook, including new seating, 4K TVs – which can deliver a picture with four times more detail than 1080 HD – and a new restaurant concept. The spokesperson echoed Siegel in saying the biggest change will be a move more toward sports betting, with two-thirds of the venue geared to that and one-third to horse racing.
While not being quite that specific, Siegel seemed to confirm that plan.
“The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook will be the No. 1 place in the world to wager on and watch sporting events,” Siegel told Covers.
From the bettor’s perspective, Sevransky said Siegel should also take a serious look at upping the commitment to the Superbook’s most heralded product, the SuperContest, a high-stakes, season-long NFL betting competition.
“I don’t know if anyone recognizes the value the (Westgate) has with the SuperContest. The SuperContest, properly promoted and with full funding behind it, would explode,” Sevransky says, comparing its potential with the massive growth enjoyed by the World Series of Poker over the past decade. “If the new ownership is aggressive in promoting the Superbook, the SuperContest could be even better. It could be a monster, and it’s already the industry leader.”
Kornegay seems equally optimistic and promised that, in time, his customers would see a dramatic difference.
“I don’t have the time frame, but I can tell you the Superbook is going to be 100 percent different.”
Colin Kelly is a Las Vegas-based contributor for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @ColinPKelly29