Basketball fans in Nevada and Illinois will have more betting options this March Madness after Circa Sports and FanDuel opened new retail sportsbooks on Monday. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Retail outlets both launched Monday
Circa and FanDuel have opened retail sportsbooks in Las Vegas and Illinois respectively, just in time for the Friday tip-off of March Madness.
Jeffrey Benson, sportsbook operations manager for the new Circa-branded satellite sportsbook at the off-Strip Tuscany Suites and Casino, shared the news of the Monday opening on Twitter:
The Tuscany facility is the first Circa Sports outlet outside of Derek Steven’s hotel-casino properties in downtown Las Vegas.
Stevens owns The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino on Fremont Street. He is the co-owner and CEO of Sin City’s newest resort, Circa Resort and Casino, which he claims is home to “the world’s largest sportsbook”.
Stevens has big expansion plans for growing his sports wagering brand Circa Sports across Nevada and the US, calling the March 15 opening of the sportsbook at Tuscany “the next step”, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Meanwhile, over in Illinois
Also on March 15, FanDuel announced the opening of its new retail sportsbook at FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing – formerly known as Fairmount Park Racetrack – in Collinsville, Illinois.
The New York-based operator opened its second Illinois sportsbook to the public at 1:00pm CT on Monday. Building anticipation three hours ahead of the launch, FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing posted a tweet featuring Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, who would later place the first bet at the facility:
Keith Wall, vice president of retail for FanDuel Group, called the Collinsville launch “a special project for us because our name isn’t just on the sportsbook, it’s on the track itself.”
Illinois opening also marks FanDuel’s 17th US retail sportsbook
The Illinois opening also marks FanDuel’s 17th US retail sportsbook and comes on the same day it launched its second New Jersey brick-and-mortar sportsbook at Bally’s Atlantic City Casino, just in time for March Madness.
Sportsbooks primed for success
Both Circa Sports at the Tuscany and FanDuel Sportsbook & Horse Racing in Illinois are ready to take bets on America’s most celebrated annual sporting event. The first round of March Madness, the NCAA Division I Mens’ Basketball Tournament, tips off at Hinkle Fieldhouse basketball arena in Indianapolis, Indiana on Friday, as Florida play Virginia Tech.
According to FanDuel’s news release, its Collinsville sportsbook hosts a “98-inch LED video wall with twenty-four 65-inch LED video displays” including five wagering windows, a sports ticker, and 20 self-service betting kiosks. While technical details of the Circa Sports operation at the Tuscany are not yet available, there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the property on March 16 attended by Derek Stevens.
Stevens told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he expects a “strong next few months” for business followed by an “off-the-charts” second half of the year. The Circa CEO’s views coincide with crowds returning to the Las Vegas Strip in their thousands over this past weekend, ahead of capacity for large gatherings in Nevada increasing to 50% on Monday.
With Vegas’s sportsbooks and casino resorts also experiencing an uptick in demand ahead of March Madness, Stevens’ assertion that “Las Vegas is coming back, and it’s coming back pretty robustly” seems very much in the cards.