Circa OK’d to Open Sportsbook at The Pass Casino in Henderson


Nevada gaming regulators have given Circa Sports approval to open a sportsbook inside a renovated casino in Henderson. This comes as the Southern Nevada city is undergoing a revival.

The Pass CasinoThe Pass Casino
Circa Resort’s Derek Stevens, with hand raised, plays blackjack at The Pass Casino in Henderson, Nevada. Stevens attended the April 1 grand opening at the renovated casino. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

After a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 29, the sportsbook inside The Pass Casino will start accepting wagers at the ticket window. The Nevada Gaming Commission approved the arrangement on Thursday, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Pass opened April 1 on Water Street in Henderson’s historic district. Henderson is about 15 miles southeast of downtown Las Vegas.

Henderson real estate developer Joe DeSimone, 53, invested $7 million in renovating and rebranding the property. In addition to the sportsbook, the casino has four blackjack tables, a craps table, a roulette table, and more than 350 gaming machines. DeSimone said he plans to add a hotel at the property.

Formerly known as the Eldorado Casino, it was the first casino that gaming pioneer Sam Boyd and his son, Bill, co-owned in the area. It opened on July 1, 1962.

In the early days, it was one of the first casinos to cater to locals and to employ women dealers.

‘A Game Changer’

Civic leaders are touting the Water Street district’s revival, with the addition of The Pass Casino and its next-door neighbor, the $26 million Henderson Silver Knights practice facility.

The Silver Knights are the American Hockey League affiliate for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights. Players hoping to make an NHL team are on the rosters of the 31 developmental AHL teams across Canada and the US. The parent Golden Knights play their home games at T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip near Park MGM.

Henderson Mayor Debra March has called the hockey team’s practice facility a “game changer for Water Street.”

Maria Bailey, president of the Water Street District Business Association, told the newspaper that for the 30 years she has lived in Southern Nevada, Henderson “wasn’t even on my map.”

Now people are saying, ‘Oh, let’s go down to Water Street this weekend,’” she said. 

A Water Street bar manager, Tommy Schimmel, said it is good to witness the changes in the area. He works at the Biscuits and Bourbon restaurant.

“It’s just really wonderful to see such a diversity on one street all close together, where people can go spend their money, have a good time, and be safe,” he told the newspaper.

Circa Sports Expands

When The Pass opened on April 1, Circa CEO Derek Stevens was among those who attended the ceremonies. Wearing a COVID-19 mask, Stevens even played blackjack with others at one of the tables.

In addition to Circa Resort, Stevens owns two other hotel-casinos on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Those are the Golden Gate and D Las Vegas.

Circa Sports operates books at those properties and at the Tuscany Suites and Casino on Flamingo Road, east of the Las Vegas Strip. Circa Sports also has an app in operation in Colorado.

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