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Casino owner DeSimone opens Circa book with Golden Knights wager

Updated May 1, 2021 - 9:25 pm

Joe DeSimone might not win this wager, but it is a safe bet.

DeSimone, owner of The Pass on Water Street in Henderson, made the first bet at Circa Sports on Thursday morning. It was a crowd-pleaser, $1,000 on the Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup. The wager pays $5,900 to win.

DeSimone’s bet hit even closer to home than Las Vegas. He placed the wager just across the street from Henderson Silver Knights’ practice facility, Lifeguard Arena.

The morning’s ribbon-cutting of the new sports book (capped by DiSimone’s bet) was the culmination of a rapidly moving partnership with Circa Sports co-founder and Circa hotel-casino co-owner Derek Stevens.

“It was one of those things where all the stars aligned,” said Stevens, who is doing business for the first time in Henderson. “I had the opportunity to meet Joe and, boy, we hit it off. Joe was excited about buying this property and upgrading the property. He needed a sports book operator; we said we’d put some money in here. I really liked what he wanted to do in here.

“This was not a long, drawn-out negotiation. This was in 10 minutes. We knew his team and my team would be a great fit.”

DeSimone, holding his VGK wager, said, “The Circa Sports culture fits perfectly with the atmosphere we have created.”

Stevens is still looking for further expansion of Circa Sports.

“There’s always a few balls in the air,” said the resort operator, who last month opened a Circa Sports counter at Tuscany Suites. “Right now we’re excited about having additional locations and really trying to prepare for the summer, and football season coming up. That is going to be upon us quickly.”

A previous version of this story misspelled Joe DeSimone’s name.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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