Mon, Apr 26, 2021
They call it the SuperBook because of its enormity, its sheer physical presence. Located at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, the SuperBook has earned the distinction of being the world’s biggest sportsbook: 30,000 square feet, with the largest indoor LED video wall, measuring a massive 240 feet long and more than 18 feet tall.
“The name is definitely derived from the scale of the venue in Las Vegas,” said Josh Swissman, founding partner with the Strategy Organization, a consulting firm for the gaming and hospitality industry. “So many sports fans have been to it at this point that the brand transcends the need for a physical presence.”
That’s a good thing, as New Jersey’s Meadowlands Racetrack may bring a mobile version of the mega-sportsbook to its famous track. The brand is planning to stake its claim in the Garden State in what Swissman calls the preeminent sports betting jurisdiction in the country.
The prospective deal “indicates New Jersey is able to attract traditional Las Vegas operators in this relatively new but important market,” according to Meadowlands Chief Financial Officer Alex Figueras.
‘The Big M’
It’s not surprising that New Jersey has been on SuperBook’s radar. “Outside of Nevada, New Jersey has the most savvy sports bettors in the country,” said Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports operations at Westgate SuperBook. “With better pricing and odds and an expansive menu, we’ll be a good fit in New Jersey.”
SuperBook considered a couple casino partners in New Jersey, but the Meadowlands—the Big M—has “terrific history,” Kornegay said. “It’s a highly respected partner. We’re in good hands and good company.”
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has not received a completed application related to the SuperBook’s operations at the Meadowlands, spokesman Leland Moore said. But Kornegay expects to open there in June, while the NHL and NBA playoffs are still in play and MLB enters the thick of the season—in other words, a fertile time for SuperBook and its players.
“The SuperBook is not just another online brand,” Swissman said. “For many, it’s the preeminent sportsbook in the country.” It’s also an extraordinary experience for sports fans, onsite and presumably online; in Nevada, SuperBook has the largest wagering menu in the state.
“Its SuperContest pro football handicapping contest is legendary,” Swissman said; even casual bettors are aware of the competition, in which entrants choose five games per week against the spread. The 2020 winner collected an eye-popping $435,600 and change as the top prize.
It goes without saying that a partnership with the Meadowlands could attract more East Coast entrants to the competition. And with smart marketing and the right-sized budget, said Swissman, SuperBook can be a real contender in New Jersey.
Importantly for SuperBook, the Meadowlands is close to several major metropolitan areas that Las Vegas draws from, and some of those players count themselves as SuperBook customers. SuperBook will compete with FanDuel and PointsBet for online bettors at the Meadowlands.
“Each brand is responsible for promoting their product except that for the retail side of FanDuel,” Figueras said. “We supplement the FanDuel marketing, since it brings customers to play at our property.”
Room to Grow
There’s still room to expand in New Jersey, the first new market for legal sports betting after the Supreme Court overturned the sports betting ban in 2018. In 2020, Meadowlands revenues grew 38 percent over 2019, better than the 33 percent growth for all of New Jersey.
Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural is behind the SuperBook addition. He recently told NJ Online Gambling that “sports betting has saved the day” for the harness track. Without it, Gural said, the facility “might be closed.” With it, the Meadowlands has added $1 million to purses. Along with FanDuel’s mobile and retail operations and PointsBet’s app, sports betting reaped $206.5 million in revenue in 2020, more than half generated in the entire state of New Jersey.
If all goes as planned, New Jersey will host the second SuperBook outside Nevada. The first is tied to the Lodge Casino (above) in Black Hawk, Colorado. A retail version of the book opens there in June, but the mobile app is already in operation.
“We believe SuperBook has the best reputation in the sports betting arena,” said Lodge Assistant General Manager, Ed Weisel. “Their philosophy is aligned with ours: giving our guest a fair game and a chance to win.”
Figueras agreed, saying, “We believe SuperBook will bring their market expertise and some of their existing customer base to us.”