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Golden Gate Casino in Las Vegas to open sportsbook in June

Updated April 26, 2019 - 12:14 am

Representatives of the Golden Gate Casino say they’ll open their own branded sportsbook in June after the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a license for the downtown Las Vegas operation.

The Golden Gate, the D and the under-construction Circa resort plan to operate sportsbooks under the Circa Sports brand. Currently, the D has a small sportsbook and Golden Gate has a sports wagering kiosk managed by William Hill, the state’s largest sportsbook operator.

D owner Derek Stevens has promised to deliver the biggest sportsbook in Las Vegas “with the biggest screen in sportsbook history” at Circa when it opens.

Stevens, who has made some famous notorious wagers, mostly on Michigan-based sports teams, is betting that his new 44-story, 777-room Circa resort will open before New Year’s Eve fireworks light up downtown Las Vegas at the end of 2020.

“If they (general contractor McCarthy Builders of Henderson) finish early, they get some rather significant benefits, and if it goes the other way, there are some significant penalties,” Stevens said in an informal conversation with journalists earlier this week. “We were able to negotiate that because the tax impact of opening in 2020 is significant compared with opening Jan. 2, 2021, so they have an awful lot of reasons to open in calendar 2020.”

Stevens said in a project status report that Circa is “on pace and on schedule for a December 2020 opening.” He said that two weeks after its “big pour” of an estimated 2,100 cubic yards of concrete, workers on Saturday completed the secondary “little pour” to develop the new property’s foundation.

“That gives us all of our foundation work now on the elevator shafts all completed,” he said. “We have about 276 caissons completed at this point.”

Caissons are underground retaining structures that are part of foundation work.

“I think starting in about 10 days you’ll see a couple of cranes show up (on the site) and when people see the cranes, it’s kind of the next defining moment,” he said.

The resort project, introduced in January, is being built on a city block that once housed the Las Vegas Club, Mermaids and Girls of Glitter Gulch topless club, across Main Street from the Plaza.

The 1.25-million-square-foot property will have a separate nine-story, 1,201-space parking garage, dubbed the “Garage Mahal,” on the west side of Main Street to be connected by bridge to Circa.

In Thursday’s Gaming Commission meeting in Carson City, Matthew Metcalf, formerly an assistant director at the Westgate Las Vegas sportsbook and now Circa’s sportsbook director, told commissioners the first location at Golden Gate would open June 1.

Designed by Moser Architecture Studio, the new sportsbook at the Golden Gate will feature a video wall with 18 screens, an LED board displaying betting odds and two betting kiosks.

Circa Sports will debut its mobile wagering app when the book opens.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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