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Sports betting, hometown interest fuel Super Bowl excitement at Gaming locations

Super Bowl Sunday is always the biggest day of the year for football fans, but it was also a “super” day for several of Delaware North’s gaming properties.

“Honestly, the Super Bowl is like our New Year’s Eve of sports,” said Kim Florence, Delaware North’s regional president and general manager at Wheeling Island Hotel Casino-Racetrack in Wheeling, W.Va., in a local media article prior to the game. “We’re going to have a lot of people hanging out and cheering on the game. That’s always a lot of fun. It adds a whole other element to what we do here at the casino, and it’s a great night to come out and see it.”

Wheeling Island, which opened an onsite sportsbook when sports betting became legal in West Virginia in 2018, saw a lot of interest in bets on the big game.

“The fact that it’s legalized in so many states across the United States, this will be the biggest handle across the country of legalized sports betting ever. It’s pretty exciting,” said Matt Watson, sportsbook manager at the casino. “We have Super Bowl MVP options. We have things like the coin toss, which is one of the most popular bets you’ll ever see. More money is decided on the coin toss than the game in a lot of places. We probably won’t see that here, but it’s an exciting novelty bet. You can bet on things like
the color of the Gatorade that will go on the coach.”

Miami Valley Gaming knew its patrons would have their minds on the game with the hometown Cincinnati Bengals making their first appearance in the championship game since 1989. The gaming venue, which Delaware North jointly owns with Churchill Downs Inc., is located in Lebanon, Ohio, just a 30-minute drive from Cincinnati.

To accommodate the local interest, Miami Valley shifted its live harness racing program to earlier in the day so race patrons could watch the game at the property or elsewhere, according to Craig Robinson, president and general manager of the venue.

Meanwhile, Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, N.C., held a “Big Game Squares Tailgater” event on the day before the Super Bowl. It gave select players from the Lucky North loyalty program a chance to participate in a traditional “squares” contest while enjoying tailgate-style food and beverage offerings. 

The casino, for which Delaware North serves as a consultant, is planning to add an onsite sportsbook later this year at its temporary gaming venue.