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With consolidation and multi-chain properties, Las Vegas hasn’t had many new numbers to bet into.  But a new bet shop will open at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino. And with a nice touch of irony, it’s the newest sportsbook at the oldest hotel in Las Vegas.

The book will be under the Circa Sports brand and will be the first of what will be three books of owner Derek Stevens at his other casinos — The D Las Vegas — and Circa Las Vegas scheduled to open in December 2020. 

Because of Stevens’ influence, we can expect his book run by director Matt Metcalf to offer extremely fair prices, take a decent size bet. 

It’s a simple, but a great business model to get more players and money downtown.

Stevens doesn’t mess around and he loves betting sports for large money at other books in town.

It’s Stevens’ love for sports betting while also being a great marketer that has him offering a high-end NFL handicapping contest that gives away a guaranteed $1.5 million with $1 million going to the winner. It costs $1,000 to enter and I’m expecting a huge overlay — more money paid out than entry fees collected — which will make it extremely popular.

If there is more money collected, it will all go into the pool — no rake. Contestants will pick five NFL games against the spread and they’ll also be able to enter their weekly picks on the Circa Sports app. Signups for the contest begin Saturday.

Another example of how Stevens knows what bettors want is their opening day promotion which includes no juice on games being played on Saturday, and there’s a big one with the Champions League Final where Liverpool is -1/2 goal -115 over Tottenham with a total set at 2.5 -110.

On Saturday, they’ll likely offer something like Liverpool -1/2 -105 and Tottenham +1/2 +105 and the total at 2.5 with over and under both at Even money. Best yet is that they’re taking up to $20,000 a wager on the Final — one bet per game allowed using promotion.  They’ll take a $10,000 play on Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals with Boston at St. Louis and take $5,000 on the 15 MLB games.

It’s great to see Stevens and Circa Sports move forward on what should be a very successful operation. I’m expecting the broad plan for Stevens is to take their Circa Sports app to other states with legal sports wagering and be successful everywhere as major competition against the gouging books.

His philosophy will be very popular and hopefully force others to follow a similar business plan to compete.

NBA Finals

The Warriors make their fifth straight trip to the NBA Finals, but for the first time, there’s no match-up against LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

The Warriors get Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors with Game 1 happening Thursday at Toronto where the Warriors have been getting early action.

“Game 1 has been loaded with Golden State money and the Over,” said Station Casinos sports book director Jason McCormick, who opened the Raptors -1 on Saturday night but was pick ‘em through Monday afternoon. Their total hasn’t moved off 215.

The Raptors won both regular-season meetings against the Warriors, 131-128 in overtime at Toronto in November without Stephen Curry while Kevin Durant drained 51 points with Leonard scoring 37. 

In the December meeting at Oakland against a full strength Warriors squad, the Raptors won 113-93 without Leonard.

Durant has missed the Warriors last five games and is out for Game 1 with a calf strain, but there’s been an obvious boost in the Warriors’ mindset since Durant has been out. 

They look like they’re having fun and executing better on both sides of the ball. Most of all, the spark appears to be Curry getting his team back and a renewed confidence.

Despite no Durant for at least Game 1 and the Raptors having home court, Station’s books opened the Warriors -340 to win the series.

“The early series action has three times the tickets on the Raptors,” said McCormick who dropped the price down to -320.

The cheapest price on the Warriors is -280/+240 at William Hill and Wynn. The best Raptors price is +250 at Caesars and South Point.

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