Downtown Las Vegas received some big sports betting news last week, as D Las Vegas President and CEO Derek Stevens announced new forthcoming sportsbooks for the Fremont Street area.
Stevens will introduce three new sportsbook and entertainment venues throughout his downtown Vegas properties. The Golden Gate Hotel & Casino will serve as a prototype for the new developments, which will feature a multi-level venue and stadium-style seating. The Golden Gate is also expected to feature the largest single screen television in the city and numerous other HD screens and personalized customer service kiosks. The company is also developing a mobile sports app to complement the entire project.
“The State of Nevada, and specifically Las Vegas, has always been the hub for sports wagering in the United States and with the recent Supreme Court ruling, we believe sports wagering will accelerate tremendously,” Stevens says.
The book is expected to open in the third quarter of 2019.
Major downtown projects
After the Golden Gate facility is complete, sports venues will also be built at the new 18 Fremont project and then at the D Las Vegas, which serve as the hub for the sportsbook. 18 Fremont is a working name using the new property’s address.
“It’s something that we’ve always wanted to do,” Stevens told TheLines about entering the market. “But when we just had the Golden Gate and the D, we never thought we had a base big enough to justify getting into the business. Now that we’re building our third hotel casino, we need to be in the sportsbook business.”
Opening the first two books before adding a facility at the D will allow the company to perfect its system and service to customers before building at its signature property, Stevens said. The company is taking sports betting seriously. The book won’t be outsourced to another company like William Hill. It will instead be an in-house project.
Also, Stevens hired longtime Vegas industry veteran Matthew Metcalf as sports director. He previously worked at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, where he helped build it into one of the best sports betting scenes in the country. What can gamblers expect from the new sportsbooks that they can’t find elsewhere? Beyond unique design elements, Stevens directs this question to another interesting aspect and how it benefits gamblers.
“One thing that’s terrific is you’ve got a great ability to line shop because only 100 feet away you’ll have a William Hill over at the Plaza, and then you have an independent sports book at the Golden Nugget,” Steven says. “Even within just a couple hundred feet, you can line shop and get some pretty good value. It’s a great place to bet sports in Las Vegas.”
Along with the three sports facilities, Stevens’ company will be building a new studio for VSiN (Vegas Stats and Information Network) at its 18 Fremont property. The network launched in February 2017 from studios at South Point Hotel Casino with Brent Musburger as a lead voice.
The network broadcasts on Sirius-XM Radio and its website, and was the first network built exclusively catering to sports bettors.
Stevens, who also purchased a 10 percent interest in the network, said the network will continue to broadcast from South Point. The new studio will allow VSiN another option for programming and allow bettors to check out the in-depth news, analysis, and statistics from some of its experts first-hand. Fans and visitors will be able to watch and interact during live broadcasts. He also said the network has plans to open a studio in Atlantic City in the future as well.
Network officials were pleased to be partnering with Stevens.
“Since launching VSiN, one of the things I’m most proud of is the people we’ve been able to partner with to help grow this business,” CEO Brian Musburger said. “We’re thrilled to partner with another of this industry’s most successful luminaries, and honored to be involved in the 18 Fremont project. The VSiN team is looking forward to delivering the news and analysis sports bettors need to win – both here in Vegas and around the country.”
The 18 Freemont project will be the third addition in an effort to revitalize downtown Vegas. That began with the opening of D Las Vegas in 2012. The property was formerly Fitzgerald’s and underwent a $22 million renovation to give it a more modern feel. A few years earlier, Stevens took over the Golden Gate and completed a major renovation in 2012. The property also received its first major expansion in 2017 by adding the property next door, formerly La Bayou casino.
The 18 Freemont project is a new casino being built at the former location of the Las Vegas Club. Stevens purchased the land in 2015 to continue his vision of revitalizing the west side of the Fremont Street Experience. It will be downtown’s first casino to be built from the ground up in decades.
So far, the new resort and the sportsbooks are without official names, but Stevens’ company is expected to announce those in October. Beyond the new sportsbook and VSiN studio, Stevens said there weren’t many specifics he could unveil quite yet.
With three properties, Stevens’ company will have a major stamp on downtown – an area that wasn’t too attractive to many visitors even only a decade ago. In recent years, however, the area has taken on a hip new vibe with revitalized properties like the D, Golden Gate, Plaza, and Golden Nugget as well as new restaurants and bars, the Fremont Street Experience, and the SlotZilla zip line attraction bringing more visitors to “old Vegas.”
And as more head downtown, Stevens is betting many of them are sports fans – and looking to wager in the new offerings. Stevens adds this about his new vision: “It’ll definitely be something worth seeing.”
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