Exclusive interview with Sportsbook Director Matthew Metcalf

"Our long-term vision for Circa Sports is to become the epicenter for sports betting in Las Vegas"

"On Circa Sports’ opening day, we saw an amazing player turnout and some of Las Vegas’ top bookmakers even got the chance to place the first official bets at Golden Gate," says Sportsbook Director Matthew Metcalf.
United States
Reading time 5 min
A week after opening its second sportsbook area in Downtown Las Vegas, Metcalf says the short-term goals at Circa Sports aim at creating a more personal sports betting experience, and he assures it will bring profit for all Downtown. He remarks their new mobile app's ability to enter contest picks, and explains the engagement value of Circa Million contest. "The opening of Circa Resort & Casino signifies a new era in Downtown Las Vegas," he says.

Las Vegas casino owner and developer Derek Stevens officially launched his new sports betting venture, Circa Sports, the first weekend of June within the all-new sportsbook at Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, in Downtown Las Vegas. A week ago, on June 19, the brand introduced a satellite program at sister property the D Las Vegas. Sportsbook Director Matthew Metcalf shared with Yogonet.com his initial thoughts and analysis of these ventures and the US sports betting landscape. 

What feedback could you receive at the official opening of Circa Sports, and the following days? What are your prospects and goals for this venture in the short and long term, and how do you think Golden Gate and the D will profit from it?

Everyone has been very excited about the new space. On Circa Sports’ opening day, we saw an amazing player turnout and some of Las Vegas’ top bookmakers even got the chance to place the first official bets at Golden Gate. The neighborhood was due for an all-new sports betting experience and, based on the number of visitors and the energy they’ve brought with them, I certainly think we have delivered so far. Our short-term goals at Circa Sports include creating a more personal sports betting experience, offering an array of unique betting options, and making sure that fair odds are the norm and not the exception at our sportsbook. Our long term vision for Circa Sports is to become the epicenter for sports betting in Las Vegas. We think that not only will the D and the Golden Gate profit from our success, but all of Downtown as well.  We hope that running our business while always keeping the customer in mind will help to make Circa Sports a valuable contributor to the Las Vegas sports betting scene.

Derek Stevens said Circa Sports brings an “old-school Las Vegas vibe to the floor.” How would you define this particular style, and how exactly is it reflected in Circa Sports area at the Golden Gate? What could make it different from rival sportsbooks in Las Vegas?

In the golden age of sports betting, customer service was top priority. Across all our Downtown venues (including Golden Gate), we are hoping to reintroduce a customer-first approach to the sportsbook process. Whether that means accommodating novice players or keeping things exciting for sharps, we are ready to make the most of every guest’s trip to the book. Both Golden Gate and the D Las Vegas will offer hands-on assistance, deliver diverse betting options and provide engaging promotions throughout the year, while Circa Resort & Casino will be joining the fun at the end of 2020. Circa Sports is a sportsbook that wants to earn your business.  Whether it’s our contests, our aggressive future books, or our unique comp structure, we are constantly searching for ways to provide more value to the player than our competitors.

Could you share some further insights into the mobile app that was launched along with the sportsbook, in terms of features, uses, additional benefits, limitations, etc.? As for activity and business flow, what role does the mobile component play as compared to land-based facilities?

When creating the Circa Sports mobile app, we made it our mission to make betting easier than it’s ever been. One of the key features to the mobile app is the ability to enter contest picks. Contestants participating in our Circa Million contest will have the ability to submit picks and compete for a 1 million-dollar grand prize from the comfort of their own home, a function currently unique to the Circa Sports App. Our exclusive betting menu also makes the Circa Sports mobile app a must download. You get access to the various special markets we offer such as Yes/No’s futures wagering, 3 different numbers on NFL wins and an ever-changing prop menu. Over time we envision the mobile app playing an increasingly larger part in our day to day operations.  That said, we love interacting with our customers in person and will always strive to give them a reason to come to our casinos and place their wagers.

How do you leverage Circa Sports Million Pro Football Contest; what does it generate for the audience, the casino and the company?

With the introduction of Circa Sports, we knew we wanted to make our mark and debut with a promotion that would reinvigorate the betting landscape. As an organization, we pride ourselves in the creativity of our offerings. Whether it is the Circa Million contest, “no-juice” promotions or a first-to-market idea, we plan on keeping the industry fresh and exciting with contests that get guests talking. This will keep our players engaged and lets us deliver a consistently superior experience across the board.

What can you tell us the more recent opening at the D Las Vegas? What novelties and differences can we expect from that satellite program?

Our customers will be able to expect the same level of service and offerings as we currently offer at the Golden Gate.  We will strive to create a consistent product that resonates with Sports Bettors no matter which Circa Sports property they chose to visit.

What hints could you identify in these ventures at Golden Gate and the D as anticipatory for Circa Resort & Casino to open in 2020? What will the opening mean for Las Vegas gaming industry, being the first new resort in downtown since 1975?

We hope to provide a glimpse of what Circa is by the way we run our day to day business. We are not hinting at the level of service we plan to provide at Circa, we at Circa Sports plan on providing that from Day 1. The opening of Circa Resort & Casino signifies a new era in Downtown Las Vegas. As the first ground-up resort in several decades, we are excited to bring a gaming and entertainment experience unlike anything the area has seen before. While we plan to celebrate the timeless spirit of the city’s most iconic neighborhood, we are ready to bring in game-changing guest offerings including a multi-level stadium-style sportsbook featuring the biggest screen in sportsbook history, as well as a two-level casino with state-of-the-art slot and table gaming options.

Fox Corporation, Walt Disney - ESPN, Sinclair and fuboTV have recently taken steps towards sports betting business. What’s your personal view on this trend, and what doors could this open for your business areas, the audiences and the industry in general?

I believe the more operators in the sports betting space the better. Competition is good and encourages innovation. This is a true marketplace and in the end the consumer will decide who does the best job of providing value to the consumer.

Circa Sports Grand Opening