SuperBook heading outside Nevada; Westgate, Paragon taking brand to new sports betting markets

SuperBook heading outside Nevada; Westgate, Paragon taking brand to new sports betting markets

  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
September 19, 2018 12:30 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

The SuperBook is going national.

Westgate Resorts and Paragon Gaming announced plans Wednesday to bring the SuperBook concept to gaming markets where sports betting has been legalized.

SuperBook is being created as a separate joint venture entity to serve as the sports betting operator for casinos and racetracks. Las Vegas-based Paragon operates the Westgate Las Vegas of behalf of Orlando-based Westgate Resorts.

“In a way, we’re decoupling the SuperBook brand from the Westgate so it can stand on its own in other markets and compete for market share,” said Paragon Gaming Chief Operating Officer Rob Oseland, who is part of the SuperBook team.

Jay Kornegay, who has overseen the SuperBook at the Westgate since 2004 and serves as SuperBook executive vice president of race and sports book operations, said the idea is to step in, operate, manage and assume the risk for new sports book operations.

“This is the natural next step in the evolution of our industry,” Kornegay said.

The Westgate’s SuperBook has been in operation since 1986, when the resort was known as the Las Vegas Hilton. The 30,000-square-foot facility was built at a cost of $17 million and is still considered Nevada’s largest sports book. There is also a SuperBook sports betting app for mobile platforms.

Since Westgate and Paragon formed their partnership in 2015, Westgate Las Vegas has undergone nearly $200 million in capital improvements, which included a renovation of the SuperBook. The facility now has more than 350 seats and a 220-foot-by-20-foot 4K video wall – the largest indoor video wall in the U.S. – to show live sporting events.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that states could legalize and regulate sport betting. Since that time, Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia approved regulations governing sports betting and launched wagering facilities at racetracks and casinos. Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are expected to launch sports betting operations sometime this fall, and more than a dozen other states are considering sports betting legislation.

Sports book operators, including William Hill US and Fan Duel, have signed agreements to manage the facilities. Oseland said the business is working toward securing locations and will look at all forms of management, from simple space leases to creating scale versions of the SuperBook model with food and beverage offerings and other amenities.

“What we bring is the quality and experience,” Oseland said. He added the company is actively exploring the quickly changing sports betting market.

The SuperBook has long held an historic reverence in Las Vegas among the sports wagering community. It was considered state-of-the-art long before technology and the Internet changed the way wagering odds were disseminated.

In 1987, a year after Hilton opened the location, the Los Angeles Times described the SuperBook as the place where gamblers can watch “as many as a dozen live games and five races simultaneously from throughout the country” while sitting in “stuffed chairs, sipping free drinks and reading complimentary copies of the Racing Form, which the Hilton flies in specially every night from the East. Fourteen TV dishes on the casino’s roof scan the skies.”

Westgate Resorts CEO David Siegel said the new business has an opportunity to establish its mark in sports betting.

“We are excited to know that our investment in the SuperBook has been extremely successful and (that) this venture is now prepared to expand nationwide,” Siegel said in a statement.

Paragon CEO Diana Bennett said the SuperBook joint venture provides gaming regulators with “a trusted partner” and gives casino operators a “benchmark” company with “experience and expertise.”

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at hstutz@cdcgamingreports.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.