The strengths of Circa Sports are on full display during Super Bowl week
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Who ya got? The Rams or the Bengals?
Super Bowl LIVI is this Sunday at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and Las Vegas sportsbooks are gearing up for one of the biggest events of the year.
“Oddsmakers think the Rams are going to be a slight favorite in this one,” says Jeff Benson, sportsbook operations manager for Circa Sports. “And they should be favored to win, but it will be interesting to see what the public thinks of [quarterback] Joe Burrow and the underdog Bengals.”
While the week of the Super Bowl brings excitement to betting counters, it’s also a moment of reflection for Circa Sports. Since launching in 2019, the sportsbook operator has been a powerhouse in the industry with physical on-site wagering at Derek Stevens’ collection of Downtown casinos and online via a mobile app that accepts bets in Nevada, Colorado and Iowa.
Yet Circa Sports is most closely associated with its namesake Circa Resort & Casino, which gave added life to the Fremont Street Experience after opening in 2020 as the first Downtown property built from the ground-up in 40 years. The on-site sportsbook is the largest in the world, standing three-stories tall with a 78-million pixel video screen for watching the latest game. It’s guaranteed to be packed on Super Bowl Sunday along with Stadium Swim, Circa’s rooftop pool deck, which happens to have its own 14-million pixel video wall.
“We view Circa Las Vegas as being a sportsbook with a casino built around it,” says Benson, only half-joking. “We’re a sports-centric hotel and casino. That’s a priority for us. We’re excited to show off those venues for the Super Bowl.”
Ever since Circa Sports debuted, Las Vegas has only elevated its status as a sports town; not just with major-league teams like the Raiders and Golden Knights, but also special events like the NFL Pro Bowl and NHL All-Star Game, both this past weekend, and the upcoming NFL Draft in April. The interest and excitement has increased traffic at the betting windows, generating dollars and activity that helps drive tourism and the local economy.
“Getting professional franchises here, that’s certainly helped to grow the handle that Nevada takes on sports betting,” says Benson. “As we continue to come out of COVID, once mask regulations are lifted, you’re going to see tourism continue to pick up and that’s going to help business. And with the possibility of getting a baseball or NBA franchise, I think Vegas is a fantastic place moving forward for sports betting in general.”
Benson adds that “football is always going to be king” for sportsbook activity.
This past season, Circa awarded $11 million to the winners of its Circa Survivor and Circa Million III pro-football contests. For now, all eyes are on the Super Bowl, which comes with a few interesting dynamics. The L.A. Rams represent the second-most populated city in the United States and come with a transient history. They’re the only team to win NFL championships in three cities: Cleveland in 1945, Los Angeles in 1951 and St. Louis in 1999.
The Bengals have been in Cincinnati since day one with a deep legacy in a smaller midwest market. Fans for each team will be pouring into Las Vegas this weekend for viewing parties throughout the Strip, Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. However, hometown Rams loyalists only have to make a short road trip across the state line to party and wager in Sin City, so expect them to have an edge in presence and energy.
Benson is predicting a competitive, high-scoring game. Beyond the side, which team will win—or the total—the overall points in the game, the greatest interest could be in prop bets. For example, money placed on who will score the first touchdown or be named MVP.
“Go to your local sportsbook—hopefully you swing by Circa Sports—and pick up a prop packet,” Benson advises. “Take that home and study it. Whether you’re a recreational better or a serious better … I think you may find a little more value in some of these props than the side or the total.”
Circa is also bringing back its Super Bowl squares program based on the popular party game. Bets are made on the ending digit for each team’s score in each specific quarter.
“It allows individuals to choose the numbers they want instead of being drawn those numbers at a traditional squares party,” says Benson, “and it allows them to pick the exact score combinations they want at specific odds priced according to those choices.”
In other words, there’s more than one way to cash in this weekend. The only thing left is choosing between mild or spicy wings at your Super Bowl party.