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Golden Gate in Las Vegas on track to open race and sportsbook

Downtown Las Vegas’ Golden Gate property cleared a hurdle Wednesday in efforts to open its own race and sportsbook, winning a recommendation for licensing approval from the state Gaming Control Board.

The Golden Gate, the D Las Vegas and the under-construction Circa resort plan to operate sportsbooks under the Circa 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 in December 2020. He plans to be able to show every major game being broadcast at the planned three-story sportsbook venue.

Stevens last summer said that he planned to break away from William Hill with the company’s own independent operation. He hired Matthew Metcalf, formerly an assistant director at the Westgate Las Vegas sportsbook.

In the Wednesday meeting in Carson City, Metcalf told board members the new operation plans to offer a more diverse menu of wagering options and to solicit wagering proposals from the public. He said several factors are contributing to a rise in popularity in sports betting, particularly at his company’s properties.

“One of those is the general rise in popularity of sports betting,” Metcalf told the board. “The second would be the properties’ passion for sports in general. We host watch parties for Raiders games, Golden Knights games, soccer games, pretty much anything you can imagine you can watch at our property and participate in sports betting, so the next natural step is to start offering that ourselves.”

He said his goal is to be able to take custom bets from customers.

“We’re here for you, if you have suggestions on stuff you would like to bet on, tell us because we’re here take bets on stuff that you want,” he said.

The board’s affirmative recommendation will be considered by the Nevada Gaming Commission when it meets in Carson City on April 25.

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

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