Circa: "Two years after launch, we have exceeded our market share expectations in Nevada" | Yogonet International
Exclusive interview with Circa's VP of Operations, Mike Palm

Circa: "Two years after launch, we have exceeded our market share expectations in Nevada"

Mike Palm, Vice President of Operations at Circa Sports: "Circa has driven new visitation to downtown Las Vegas in record numbers."
2021-11-10
United States
Reading time 2:46 min

The executive discusses with Yogonet the keys behind Circa Sports' expansion to Iowa and how its product will differentiate in this competitive market. Palm also explains Circa's approach to expansion and odds offering, differing from other operators by taking input from pro bettors, and reflects on the sportsbook's first two years of existence. Moreover, he talks about Circa Las Vegas' success in the downtown amidst the casino industry recovery.

Circa Sports is expanding to Iowa through a partnership with Wild Rose Casino. Why was this casino selected for the partnership? The state already houses 15 other sportsbooks. How will Circa’s offerings stand out?

We were in discussions with Wild Rose several years ago when Iowa first adopted sports wagering. When an additional skin was available we renewed those talks.

Wild Rose speaks the same language as Circa Sports in terms of focus on customers, both external and internal. It also has geographic diversity in its 3 locations in Iowa.

We believe our product differentiates itself through offering higher limits, better future payouts, transparency of offerings, first CFB lines, cross sport parlays and yes/no markets on virtually every sport.

It is Circa's first launch in the Midwest. How does the sports betting market there differ from other locations, and why was it seen as a priority? What should we expect in terms of new states in the near future? Two years after launch, how would you assess Circa Sports' development in the competitive US betting market?

Iowa will be our most college sports-driven market. In fact, Iowa is one of the three most college sport-driven jurisdictions in the country. As the birthplace of Mike Palm, Iowa was always earmarked as a priority for us.

We continue to explore expansion in other states where the barriers to entry are not oppressive. Two years after launch, we have exceeded our expectations in terms of market share in Nevada. We continue to learn as we expand to other jurisdictions.

One of Circa Sports' main features is offering insights from top oddsmakers. In August, Circa held its second annual experts sports betting panel in Vegas. What were the feedback and takeaways from the event? How does Circa's insight offering differ from others?

The second annual sports betting panel was very well received. The audience appreciated having the different perspectives of a bookmaker, a pro bettor, a former executive and a former player on the panel.

Circa differs from other operators in that we welcome input from pro bettors, both in forums like this, and through the betting window. We will continue to hold these panels in August. Next year, one of the topics will be in-game wagering.

Circa Las Vegas, the downtown's first resort-casino built from the ground up in four decades, has recently celebrated its first anniversary. How would you describe and assess Circa Las Vegas' first year of life?

The first year of the Circa property has been phenomenal. Circa has driven new visitation to downtown Las Vegas in record numbers. All the partner properties of the Fremont Street Experience move forward with expansions and renovations. A rising tide lifts all ships.

The venue opened in 2020, a very hard year for the land-based gaming industry. How has the pandemic impacted the casino's operations? And now, as Vegas rebounds with record-setting numbers, has Circa been able to capitalize on this success?

The labor shortage caused by the pandemic has been the biggest challenge for all operators. As visitation to Las Vegas increases, Circa has seen all business metrics increasing month over month. We offer unique experiences in our two sports-themed venues, Circa SportsBook and Stadium Swim.

Circa Las Vegas is home to the world's largest sportsbook. What has the reception for this amenity and performance been like so far?

Sports have really driven our property. The book itself is sold out on most weekends. Mondays and Thursdays are electric during football season as well. Customers have been awed by the experience.

Rodrigo Capeans
by Rodrigo Capeans
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