The Westgate SuperContest, an upcoming pro football handicapping contest at Westgate Las Vegas, is already accepting entries.
That’s because this year, the most popular football handicapping contest in Las Vegas (and the US) has moved its opening signup date from July to March.
But the move to open sign-up for the Westgate SuperContest to March is not a coincidence. Since contestants must sign up in person, it makes sense that the casino operator tries to capitalize on and capture new visitors when they’re in town for the first weekend of March Madness.
Visitors and locals in Las Vegas can sign up for the Westgate SuperContest right now–four months earlier than normal.
The Westgate used to open registration for the SuperContest during the summer. The timeframe made sense since the dog days of summer has many football fans looking forward to the new NFL season. However, times sure have changed for sports betting.
Sportsbook’s opening betting odds earlier every year
Just about everything on the sports betting calendars has moved up. Nevada sportsbooks have been fighting to be first to post odds for everything first. Super Bowl futures odds for 2019 were available before the actual game was played for the 2018 season.
The Westgate alone has NFL Draft props, NFL division, and NFL conference futures odds already available. It makes sense to give football fans and bettors a chance to sign up for the football contest after placing their preseason wagers.
The first weekend of March Madness is one of the most popular times for sports fans to visit Las Vegas. The handle for March Madness is estimated to be close to Super Bowl betting. Unlike the Super Bowl, these visitors are often in town for four to five days, feverishly filling out brackets and watching the games unfold.
Last year, betting on the NCAA basketball tournament helped push Nevada sports betting handle for the month over $500 million.
Westgate already seeing SuperContest sign-ups
The Westgate is already seeing contestants sign up for the SuperContest. Westgate Vice President of Sports Operations Jay Kornegay tells PlayUSA that they have “over 50 (SuperContest entries) right now.” He says that they hope to add another 100 during the first weekend of March Madness.
This is the first time that the Westgate is offering SuperContest signups in March. While the word is starting to trickle out, Kornegay is curious how successful moving the date will be for the Westgate. He told PlayUSA that “it will be interesting to see the results of this extra sign-up period and how much of an impact it will have.”
Participating in the Westgate SuperContest
The Westgate SuperContest has been growing and the new sign-up period should help this trend continue. In 2018, the Westgate awarded more than $1 million to the SuperContest winner for the first time. The SuperContest saw 3,123 entries and paid more than $1.4 million to the winner.
The Westgate is on a roll with SuperContest entries. They’ve had more participants every year for eight consecutive years. Simplicity, out-of-state participation, and mainstream media are three reasons the SuperContest has become so popular.
- Contestants pick five games against the spread each week of the NFL season. That’s all.
- Even though all entries must be made in person, out-of-state participants can hire a proxy to submit their picks.
- Mainstream sports media have been participating in the contest for years. They help spread the word of the contest around the country.
Kornegay told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he expects 4,000 entries for the SuperContest this year.