First, Circa Sports created a rival to the Westgate’s SuperContest last year. Now the sportsbooks will hold competing contest weekends to attract entrants.
The Westgate will hold its ninth annual SuperContest Weekend on Aug. 21 and 22. Circa recently announced that it would hold its first Football Contest Weekend on the same dates.
Circa will host panel discussions Aug. 21 with betting experts and a meet-and-greet at the D Las Vegas on Aug. 22. The Westgate will have experts on hand to talk with entrants both days and will host its annual golf outing Aug. 22.
Circa sportsbook operations manager Jeffrey Benson called Circa’s relationship with the Westgate “a friendly rivalry.”
“We’re respectful of what they’re doing and what they have going on,” he said. “We have a very good contest in our own right.”
Westgate sportsbook vice president Jay Kornegay said he would not discuss other properties.
The Westgate SuperContest has been the most prestigious of the Las Vegas football handicapping competitions. The $1,500 buy-in event attracted a record 3,328 entries last season with a first-place prize of $1.47 million. The Westgate also holds the $5,000 buy-in winner-take-all SuperContest Gold.
In both contests, entrants pick five NFL games against the spread each week.
Circa debuted the $1,000 buy-in Circa Sports Million last season, using the same format as the SuperContest. The event attracted 1,875 entries with a first-place prize of $1 million.
The Circa Sports Million II this season will be joined by the $1,000 Circa Survivor in which entrants select one straight-up winner a week and are eliminated if they lose. Each team can be used only once all season.
Entries for both contests have been slower than normal with the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Kornegay reported 135 entries; Benson said the Circa Sports Million had 55.
Kornegay said he expected people to register later once they’re certain the NFL season will be played.
“They don’t want to tie up their funds if the season’s in doubt,” he said.
If the season is shortened, the Westgate calls for 10 weeks to be played for the SuperContest to be official, Kornegay said. Circa requires 12 weeks for the Million and eight weeks for the Survivor, Benson said.
On contest weekend, Circa panelists include VSiN hosts Gill Alexander, Mitch Moss and Matt Youmans and former NFL executive Michael Lombardi. Circa vice president of operations Mike Palm will serve as the moderator.
The meet-and-greet will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at BarCanada at the D. Derek Stevens, the CEO of Circa, the D and the Golden Gate, will attend.
The Westgate golf outing at Las Vegas Country Club, which normally gets more than 100 people, will be limited to 48 this year for social distancing reasons, Kornegay said.
The Westgate will also host a raffle for at least six SuperContest entries.