Business

SuperBook Opening Sportsbook at the Lodge Casino in Black Hawk

A rendering of the SuperBook at the Lodge Casino, opening June 25.
A rendering of the SuperBook at the Lodge Casino, opening June 25. Courtesy of SuperBook
SuperBook, which boasts the largest sports- and racebook in the world at the Westgate Las Vegas Casino, will open a retail sportsbook at the Lodge Casino in Black Hawk on June 25.

"Sometimes I've got to pinch myself to think that I’ll be operating a sportsbook here in Colorado," says Jay Kornegay, the head of SuperBook, which boasts the largest sports- and racebook in the world at the Westgate Las Vegas Casino and is now opening a retail sportsbook at the Lodge Casino in Black Hawk. Kornegay also happens to be a onetime Colorado resident, Colorado State University grad and just about the biggest Colorado sports homer around.

The 7,000-square-foot SuperBook sportsbook in Black Hawk will have 28 TVs and seating for 40. Add in standing room, and the total capacity is 200. "Just operating the book for so many years, we kind of understand what’s comfortable for people to watch the TVs and watch the games," says Kornegay, who thinks almost as much about TV height and neck comfort as he does about sports.

The spot will have three wagering windows, where patrons will be able to place bets with live bet-takers, as well as five kiosks. Those hanging out at the sportsbook will also have access to a "full-scale sportsbar"; servers will take food and drink orders.

Thanks to Kornegay's strong ties to the Colorado sports world, Mark Schlereth, the retired NFL offensive lineman who helped win two Super Bowls with the Broncos, will be present for the ribbon-cutting at noon on June 25 at the Lodge. "He’ll probably bet the Broncos to win the Super Bowl," Kornegay jokes.

Colorado voters legalized sports betting in November 2019 by approving Proposition DD, which designated that casino winnings be taxed at 10 percent and the majority of those taxes go toward the Colorado Water Plan, created by Governor John Hickenlooper's administration to help ensure that Coloradans have access to water for recreation, farming and drinking for years to come.

The legal sports betting market kicked off in Colorado in May 2020. In the first year of legal wagering, Coloradans bet $2.3 billion on sports — and the State of Colorado collected over $6.6 million in taxes. Most of that betting was done online.

Between May 2020 and April 2021, fewer than 2 percent of the total bets were wagered in person at casinos in Black Hawk, Central City and Cripple Creek; the vast majority were placed on one of the many mobile sports-betting apps available in Colorado. There are currently 22 licensed mobile gaming companies and 17 retail outlets operating sportsbooks in Colorado.

Some sports-betting companies, like DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM, have poured money into promotions designed to grab new customers during Colorado's first year of sports betting. While SuperBook has offered some good deals, it's focused on offering bettors the best available lines, Kornegay says.

"We’re able to do that because we don’t spend as much money on marketing costs," he explains. "As soon as the sports fans of Colorado get educated more in this space, they tend to migrate toward operations like ours."
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.