West Memphis, Arkansas is setting up their Southland Casino for success, as the gaming complex launched sports betting within days of the Super Bowl.
It appears the timing was coincidental, as Southland maintains that it is sheer coincidence that their sportsbooks would go live just a mere five days before the biggest sporting event in the country.
Senior Director of Marketing for Southland Casino Jeff Strang said “Timing is great. We feed off a population and we’re hoping it’s going to make it more convenient to come here based on time, travel as elsewhere in the Midsouth.”
Super Bowl Weekend Big for Numbers
The Super Bowl brings super betting along with it. New data from the American Gaming Association says 26 million Americans will wager approximately $6.8 billion on Super Bowl 54, a 15% increase from last year’s game as the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the San Francisco 49ers. This year’s Super Bowl will also be the most legally bet on Super Bowl in history.
With Super Bowl 54 expected to see a record number of betting dollars being wagered across the US, Southland Casino will certainly be getting a piece of the pie.
Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, points to research showing that 75 percent of NFL bettors are more likely to watch a game they have bet on:
“When Americans have skin in the game, it’s clear they are more likely to tune in,” he says. “It means the NFL is starting to realize the $2.3 billion opportunity that comes from sports betting annually.”
Southland Gets Help From Parent Company
Southland Casino is actually owned by the parent company, Delaware North, which recently signed a sports betting deal with IGT after months of a contract dispute with their previous sports betting supplier. The deal they made may have played a role in the timing of the launch date of Southland casino’s sportsbook.
However, any extra revenue will not just benefit Southland Casino. In fact, the entire city of West Memphis is planning to use the extra profit to improve upon and expand the city. Aside from attracting sports bettors, they’re hoping to turn it into a more tourist-friendly destination overall.
Expansions in West Memphis
West Memphis is looking to have a city-wide expansion to boost tourism, and sports betting going live is merely a small part of the plan. The city is also currently undertaking multiple different projects in hopes of bringing in more visitors. The state of Arkansas isn’t necessarily the most popular destination for a vacation in the United States, but the launch of sportsbooks in Southland Casino could be one essential part of the city’s revival.
Strang continues on the benefits for West Memphis by saying, “This adds more inventory to help compete to bring more events to the Memphis area so it compliments Memphis.”
Some of the other projects currently in the works are a 20-story hotel that is under construction, an expanded casino floor for Southland, and more restaurants.
As part of West Memphis Mayor Marco’s vision for a “new” city, it will include a new courthouse, police substation, library and two new fire stations. These essential city services, which were funded for a cool $12 million, will be placed strategically along Broadway Avenue.
“I am happy about the direction West Memphis is going. We haven’t had a building built since 1974. I wasn’t even born then. But, now we are about to have five new buildings,” said West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon.