Sports Betting in Indian Country: Harold Baugus

Harold Baugus, CEO 
Isleta Resort and Casino

THE LAUNCH: Isleta Resort and Casino launched its sports betting operation from a temporary location in the casino on August 12, 2019 while we were in the processes of a property $40 million-dollar remodel. Part of this remodel included an all-new sportsbook bar and gaming area, which is complete with wall to wall big screen TV’s and over 20 slots. The grand opening took place on November 4th, 2019, with sports celebrities and trip giveaways to major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl. Once sports betting was on the table, we began to visit a few properties in Las Vegas to see what operations we felt best would fit our needs. Isleta is primarily a regional resort and casino property. We began vetting some of the most respected sports bookmaking companies in the business. We ultimately made the decision to go with US Bookmaking. Sports betting has been a great addition to our property by offering a diverse gaming experience to our players. We’ve been able to attract new guests onto the property while also offering a new gaming option to our current clientele. 

Isleta Resort and Casino Sportsbook

REACTION: Guests have loved the new addition of sports betting to our resort and casino. We have some players that just come in with friends to bet on the big games like the Super Bowl or the World Series. Other guests are true sports enthusiasts who follow their favorite teams and enjoy being able to bet on a variety of sports. COVID-19 has changed the way everyone has conducted business this year and sportsbook is no exception. Like most casinos, we have had limited capacity in our outlets as well as last minute cancelations of games. But we have rolled with the punches and our guests have been extremely understanding and loyal to our property during this challenging time. Additionally, our guests who enjoy contactless transactions have utilized our kiosk terminals more.  

THE FUTURE: Just as slots and table games have evolved over the years, sport betting will continue to change. As our guests become more familiar with the various betting opportunities we offer, players will want us to continue offering new ways to win. We will continue to see casual players become more involved as both they and their friends discover how much fun and exciting sports betting can be.