In the wake of a May 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opened the doors for expansion of legal sports betting, many sportsbook operators – some brand new, some long established – quickly opened up shop in New Jersey and elsewhere. The SuperBook, long seen as the industry standard when it comes to sports betting odds in Nevada, bided its time.
That time arrived Monday morning, with the announcement that The SuperBook’s first foray beyond Nevada will be in Colorado, in a partnership with Jacobs Entertainment Inc. The SuperBook’s second shop will be at The Lodge Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado - a former mining town-turned-gaming destination about an hour from Denver.
Colorado voters in November passed a proposition to legalize sports betting, effective May 1. Several other operators are already on board in Colorado, including Circa Sports, William Hill US, Penn National, DraftKings and FanDuel. But it’s a maiden voyage outside Nevada waters for The SuperBook, which currently operates the largest sportsbook in the world, inside the Westgate Las Vegas.
Jay Kornegay, who oversees The SuperBook as vice president of race and sports for Westgate Resorts, was eager for his team’s operation to take the next big step.
“It’s a huge milestone for us. Partnering with The Lodge team is a terrific opportunity for The SuperBook,” Kornegay said.
It’s also a sort of homecoming for Kornegay, a Colorado native who moved on to become a sportsbook industry leader over the past three decades in Las Vegas.
“It’s certainly close to my heart, with the first SuperBook outside of Nevada setting up in Colorado,” he said. “The sports fans of Colorado are true and loyal. The SuperBook team looks forward to serving all Coloradans. We can’t wait.”
But again, The SuperBook is hardly alone. Circa Sports, which launched last June with its downtown Las Vegas operations, will initially be exclusively mobile. William Hill US will have books in a couple of Black Hawk locations, and DraftKings will have a retail outlet in Black Hawk, as well. All those operators – and more – will be competing in the mobile app market.
“We won’t take anything for granted,” Kornegay said. “We’ll have to earn customers’ loyalty through hard work, as we’ve done in Nevada over the last 25 years.”
With The SuperBook finally expanding its footprint, one of the big questions is: will the industry innovator bring the SuperContest to Colorado? The annual NFL betting contest, in which contestants pick five games against the NFL point spread each week, has seen massive growth over the past decade. Last season’s contest drew a record 3,328 entries.
“We plan on offering the SuperContest, but we will need Colorado Division of Gaming approval. We’re working on that,” Kornegay said. “Our deal with The Lodge is for both the mobile and retail outlet. At this point, Colorado is launching mobile sports betting on May 1, though that could change as we deal with the current situation.”
That situation would, of course, be the shutdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Kornegay pegged later in the summer for the retail outlet’s opening, “but before football season.”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.