Westgate SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay Coping With Shutdown, Sees Industry Changes Ahead
That brand has been dark for almost two weeks now due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it had Kornegay wistfully looking back at a simple social gathering he had with friends just one month ago.
In a phone interview with PlayColorado, Kornegay said,” And ,” he said to his friends from back in Colorado who get together every year out here for the Mountain West( Conference men & , s basketball ) tournament. & , It was really the last typical weekend out here in Las Vegas, and looking back on it now, which was only a few weeks ago, March 4 – 8. & rdquo,
And, It & , s escalated quickly,
The sports world came to an abrupt and shocking halt just a few days after Utah State won the MW tourney and Kornegay & , Colorado State‘s alma mater, lost the first round.
According to Kornegay,”& , It & s escalated quickly.” We were all keeping an eye on things, but we didn’t anticipate that it would end the world of activities or even the world.
Everything else happened fairly quickly after & and the NBA shut down. It actually caught us off guard. I mean, don’t get me wrong andndash, it was the right thing to do, but at the time, neither of us actually believed that it would have the same repercussions as it did. & rdquo,
One of the immediate implications was that as of midnight St. Patrick&;s Day, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered the shutdown of the state&;s casinos and non-essential businesses for a minimum of 30 days. On April 1, Sisolak extended the shutdown through the end of the month.
SuperBook becomes gloomy
Kornegay and the SuperBook made an effort to change quickly, switching from the recurringly profitable NCAA Tournament and upcoming MLB seamers to Aussie Rules Football and Greek soccer odds as they coped with the sudden loss of their heart.
We were available for four or five days( via portable after the casino closed ), and it was difficult because every time we discovered a group that was playing, we lost two teams and they would freeze play, according to Kornegay, who has worked for the SuperBook since 2004 when the Westgate was referred to as the Las Vegas Hilton. We did it for a while, & , but eventually it got to the point where it was no longer worth keeping open and penciling out. & rdquo,
Like many Nevada & hotels and casinos, the nearly 3, 000-room Westgate Las Vegas was forced to lay off the majority of its staff, including the bulk of the SuperBook crew from Kornegay.
Kornegay initially spent a lot of time explaining the Superbook & ’s complete closure because online sportsbooks and some other Vegas locations chose to continue operating via apps.
What a lot of people don’t realize, Kornegay said, is that if we were to simply maintain the software available, it would take more than just putting someone in the back room. & , the audit team is involved, so you need an accounting professional and someone for Pay. It & is a little more complicated than just having one guy keep an eye on things from 10 to 4.
Our customers are missing the activities community, but they have all agreed that now is not the best time to open. & rdquo,
There will be shifts.
According to Kornegay, he continues to work from his SuperBook office for the majority of his days. He spends a significant amount of time with his remaining staff getting ready for US pro and college sports & ndash’s return as well as some semblance of normalcy. Kornegay & ’s current best guess is late summer or early fall, but like many of us, that prediction is subject to daily change.
Kornegay is confident, however, that major changes are on the horizon, not just in the sports betting arena andndash, where mobile application usage may jump if some semblance of social distancing sticks nascent, but also in day-to-day life itself.
You would have to believe that( operational ) changes are going to occur, he said. I’m not convinced on the specifics of what they might be, but in all honesty, I believe our society as a whole is going to undergo some change. It will take a while before everyone is at ease to the point where we may resume living the way we did before all of this. & rdquo,
As for sports wagering coming to his home state, Kornegay said he&;s been impressed with the progress in Colorado. The state&;s scheduled go-live date for wagering remains May 1, but Kornegay isn&;t so certain.
He said,” And, I’m aware that they’ve said they also plan to launch on May 1st.” That & was the last I heard, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they had delayed the situation for a little while. & rdquo,