The Westgate sportsbook is expanding to Colorado.
The book announced Monday that it will open its first location outside of Las Vegas at The Lodge Casino in Black Hawk, a former mining town located 40 miles from Denver.
Westgate sportsbook vice president Jay Kornegay, who will lead the venture from Las Vegas, is a Colorado native and Colorado State alumnus.
“It’s just a coincidence that it ended up this way,” he said. “Colorado is close to my heart. Being our first location outside of Nevada and ending up in Colorado, it’s something special.
“We’re not looking to be at every jurisdiction out there. We’re just trying to be where it makes sense for us. We’ve had our eye on Colorado and other states where we’ll continue to look at other opportunities.”
Colorado plans to launch legal mobile sports betting May 1, and the Westgate plans to open a retail location this summer, most likely in August. But those dates were set before COVID-19 safety measures were enacted in Colorado and could change.
Kornegay said the book plans to offer a separate SuperContest in Colorado, pending approval from the Colorado Division of Gaming.
The prestigious Westgate SuperContest is a $1,500-entry NFL handicapping contest that featured a record 3,328 entries and $1.47 million grand prize last season. Contestants pick five weekly NFL sides against the spread during the 17-week NFL season.
“They will be separate pools: SuperContest Colorado and SuperContest Nevada,” he said.
Jacobs Entertainment owns and operates The Lodge and Gilpin casinos in Black Hawk, along with the Gold Dust West properties in Reno, Carson City and Elko.
One notable difference in sports betting between Nevada and Colorado is that Colorado allows remote registration for mobile apps while Nevada requires registration in person.
As a result, Kornegay said he expects 95 percent of the betting handle to be through the mobile app in Colorado, where the physical books are located in small mountain towns.
“Even though we do plan on working with our new partner at The Lodge on constructing a very comfortable physical setting in Black Hawk, we don’t have 30,000 square feet (the size of the Westgate sportsbook in Las Vegas),” Kornegay said. “It will be a lot smaller than people are used to out here, but I think Coloradoans will find it very attractive to visit.”