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Circa Sports faces $3.26M loss on NFL contests

Circa Sports saw sign-ups increase by about 50 percent over its football contest weekend, but the sportsbook still is staring at a $3.26 million overlay about two weeks before the NFL’s season opener.

Circa attracted 237 entries Friday to Sunday in its two $1,000-entry fee contests — Circa Sports Million II and Circa Survivor — according to sportsbook operations manager Jeff Benson.

There are 519 entries in Million, which needs 3,000 entries to meet its $3 million guarantee. There are 217 entries in Survivor, which needs 1,000 entries to meet its $1 million guarantee.

Circa poked fun at its situation on its Twitter account (@CircaSports) Sunday, posting a video of an NHL player destroying his stick in a fit of rage under the message, “When NFL Sunday finally arrives and you realize you missed out on the biggest overlay in Vegas football contest history.”

In Million — and the Westgate SuperContest — contestants make five weekly NFL picks against the spread. In Survivor, contestants select one straight-up winner a week and are eliminated if they lose. Each team can be used only once all season in Survivor.

SuperContest sign-ups

The Westgate had fewer than 100 sign-ups over its ninth annual SuperContest Weekend. The $1,500-entry fee contest has 375 entries after drawing a record 3,328 last year.

The first prize for the contest, which was $1.47 million last season, is based on the number of entries. But the Westgate is guaranteeing $135,000 in quarterly prizes, with $100,000 for first place, $25,000 for second and $10,000 for third.

“If you’re a local, you almost want it to be fewer entries in the contest,” Westgate sportsbook director John Murray said. “Especially when you consider you can put in the entries on our app.”

There are 14 entries in the $5,000-entry, winner-take-all SuperContest Gold and 17 entries in the SuperContest Reboot, a $500-entry contest covering Weeks 9 to 17.

Sign-ups are way down at Circa and the Westgate because of the lack of out-of-state visitors caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Contestants must register in person and then are permitted to submit their picks through a proxy.

“SuperContest Weekend was kind of what we expected,” Murray said. “It was nothing like it’s been in the past, which is disappointing. But it’s understandable under the circumstances.”

Golden Nugget contest canceled

The Golden Nugget has canceled the 2020 Ultimate Football Challenge after 54 Football Bowl Subdivision programs postponed their fall schedule until the spring.

The UFC was a $1,000-entry fee contest in which players made seven weekly picks ATS on college and NFL sides during the 17-week NFL season.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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