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Circa Sports has new sportsbook director, but same sharp model

When Chris Bennett was getting trained as a ticket writer at the SuperBook in 2004, he said he wanted Jay Kornegay’s job as sportsbook director.

After working at the SuperBook for nine years and at Circa Sports the last four years, Bennett finally realized his goal recently when he succeeded Matt Metcalf as Circa sportsbook director.

“It hasn’t been the most direct route, but here I am 18 years later,” said Bennett, 41.

A Minnesota native who went to college at the University of Illinois, Bennett left the industry for four years before returning in 2019 to help launch Circa Sports. He was sportsbook manager under Metcalf before being promoted last year to director of risk.

“I am focused on making Circa Sports a great place to work,” he said. “I want us to be the best bookmakers and oddsmakers in the world, and to have fun doing it all in a collaborative way.”

Metcalf said he decided to become an independent consultant.

Circa has made a name for itself in the sports betting world by welcoming the sharp bettors that some sportsbook shun. Circa posts betting limits on wagers and accepts bets from any customer for up to that amount.

“I am tremendously proud of the team we have built and the success we’ve had bringing ‘sports betting the way it should be’ to our valued customers,” Metcalf said in a text message. “I leave this role in the extremely capable hands of Chris Bennett, who has been with Circa Sports since we launched and has been one of the primary reasons behind our success.

“I will be transitioning to my role to an independent consultant and will continue to work with Circa as a strategic advisor, continuing to help build and expand the brand we have created. This role makes more sense for me at the current time and allows me the flexibility that I am seeking.”

Circa owner Derek Stevens said he and Metcalf had discussed this move for the past year.

“Matt and I have got a great relationship. He worked here for a couple years before we even got licensed, and I’m pretty loyal to Matt and what he did to help kick off Circa Sports,” he said. “Matt put together a hell of a team, and I’m very thankful for him really helping Circa Sports grow to where we’re at today.

“There will be no changes to the model that we’ve started with or our thought process. Chris Bennett and (Circa sportsbook operations manager) Jeff Benson, we’ve all been a part of this from Day 1.”

BetMGM also underwent a recent change in sportsbook leadership. Former vice president of trading Jason Scott left the company for a job in his native Australia, and Joshua Byrne is the BetMGM director of trading.

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

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