On today’s show, Matt Simo joins to talk about FootballContest.com and how they are becoming one of the top proxy services around for the big Vegas Sports Betting contests.
Show notes from Matt Simo Interview
Ryan Knuppel: Today we sit down with Matt Simo, better known as Vegas Matty in the industry. He talks about footballcontest.com and how it can help you be the proxy service to win your next super contest.
Ryan Knuppel: Everywhere you turn, it’s the same old sports talk, the same headlines, the same news and the same boring information. This podcast is here to change all of that. We bring you hot sports, takes winning sports betting strategy and picks, reliable gaming industry news and breaking interviews with some of the biggest names in sports business. My name is Ryan Knuppel and welcome to the Knup Sports Show.
Ryan Knuppel: All right. Welcome back to another episode of the Knup Sports Show. My name is Ryan Knuppel, I’m your host here each and every show. Today I’m joined by the legend Matt Vegas, Matty Simo. Matt, are you with me?
Matt Simo: I am here.
Ryan Knuppel: Awesome.
Matt Simo: How are you doing?
Ryan Knuppel: I’m doing well. Thanks for joining me, Matt. Hey, one thing we like to do on this show, we like to bring in people that maybe people haven’t really talked to much and I ran across you on, I believe it was LinkedIn or Twitter, or something and really looked like you had some great experience in the sports betting space, living out in Vegas for 10, 15 years. Thought I’d bring you on, talk a little bit about what you’re up to these days and just go from there. So, really appreciate you taking some time and joining us here.
Matt Simo: Of course. Well yeah, thanks for having me. I mean, I think the biggest thing, obviously, that’s hit the whole country over the last year is just the legalization of sports betting and Vegas is still alive and well. There hasn’t really been any a decrease in the betting handle here. In fact, it continues to go up and as the popularity of sports betting continues, the rise of different contests that you can enter has also gone up and the interest in that. And yeah, I run the largest football contest proxy service in the country. Well, specific to Nevada because we deal with the Las Vegas contests at the Westgate SuperBook it’s a sports golden nugget. So, those are the three main contests that we deal with and yeah, I mean, more and more people are wanting to come out and get involved with these contests.
Ryan Knuppel: So yeah, lots of touch on there. So the first point, yeah. Legalization in the United States. It Is booming. Lots of news from state to state. It seems every day something new is coming out, new acquisitions, new things going on. But you brought up a good point because really, over the years, Vegas is the place to go to bed on sports. And so, one of the first things that comes to my mind is, “Oh, Vegas is going to suffer, Vegas is going to… People only go there to bet.”
Matt Simo: Right, very big misconception.
Ryan Knuppel: I think that’s a misconception and I’m glad you touched on that because Vegas is still a destination spot and now that people have more awareness that sports betting is okay and that it’s not like you’re going to die and go to hell because you’re betting on sports, people may actually want to go out to Vegas and just experience it and be a part of the atmosphere out there. Because some of those sports books out there, regardless of where sports betting is legal across the nation, some of the sports books out in Vegas are beyond anything you’re going to see in other States. Am I right or accurate in that statement?
Matt Simo: No, absolutely. Yeah. I mean the more popular it gets across the country, then it just… I mean Vegas is still the King when it comes to sports betting. I mean it was actually just released today, I think that the betting handle in Vegas is up over 6% over last year and the whole is close to 10% increase from last year. And yeah, this is via my friend Patrick Everson from, he’s Covers_Vegas on Twitter. Yeah. He’s reported those numbers and yeah, they’re both all time records. He’s reporting 10 consecutive all time records that’s for sports volumes in the state of Nevada.
Matt Simo: So that kind of just goes to show that things continue to rise. And I mean, the more interest there is, the more that that people are wanting to find out about it, they know Vegas is still the place to go until their state legalizes it. And Vegas is still going to have the most offerings as well. Especially, with the Superbowl and everything else. And like I said, the contests… Vegas knows what they’re doing. I know a lot of other states are trying to figure out or come up with ways that they can get people into their new sports books, but Vegas is the model and will always be King as far as that goes. And you’re always going to have the biggest contests here for now. I shouldn’t say for now. I mean it could be a while before some of the other states can compete with Vegas.
Ryan Knuppel: Absolutely. And we’re seeing sports teams actually start coming to Vegas now as well. I know the hockey team there did very well this past year. Football’s coming there, which I can only imagine is going to be just gigantic. It’s going to be so fun to go to a football game there in Vegas. So, starting to see some of the pro sports teams come in town and I think that will only increase the, I guess, overall engagement and overall betting handle that takes place there.
Matt Simo: Yeah, I mean Vegas is becoming more of a normal city, I would say. Especially, I’ve been here back here for 15 years and just seeing the Golden Knights come into town and the impact on the city and then there’s the Raiders moving here for this coming year. They’ve already had a very positive impact on the community and that’s only going to continue to grow really. I mean, we’re becoming kind of a major league city opposed to just being known for gambling and sin, if you will, as Sin City goes.
Matt Simo: I mean I’ve got a young daughter and there’s just more and more things to do here as far as other things. It’s becoming more of a cultural city. More in line with other big cities across the country. So, it’s exciting to see kind of everything grow and that’s one of the main reasons I kind of continued to live here and my business is booming, it’s continuing to boom and yeah, I’m just going to ride it out as long as I can and just enjoy Vegas for what it is.
Ryan Knuppel: Amazing. Let’s talk business. So, footballcontest.com, that’s your baby, that’s your business. I know you kind of gave us a very high level idea of what it was, but you mentioned the word proxy and I think that’s something… I know what this is, but I’d like for you to explain what it exactly a proxy to a contest is so our listeners understand what that means.
Matt Simo: Of course. So, the major football contest, here in Las Vegas, you need to be able to send in your picks in person every week. It’s not something that you can do from outside the state. Now, both the Westgate Super Contest, which is the largest football contest in the world, and the Circa Sports Million, which is quickly becoming one of the biggest, if not, probably the second biggest right now and could challenge the Super Contest next year as being the top football contest in Vegas.
Matt Simo: The Circa Sports is as a brand new sports book that started out last June and they had a 1,875 entries in their football conference in their very first year last year. And you put that in perspective, the Super Contest has been around more than 20 years and a little over 3000 and we could have both those contests hit, three, 4,000 entries I would say even over 4,000 entries maybe next year. That kind of just goes to show the growth of both of them. But yeah, Circa Sports.. Circa, the Circa Resort and Casino is going to be opening downtown by the end of this year, by the end of 2020 and it’s going to have the largest sports book in the world.
Matt Simo: So, the Westgate Superbook currently has that distinction, but Circa is building something really special and they’re going to be basically looking to take that over by the end of 2020. But yeah, each of these properties has major football contests that require you to pick five games against the spread every week for 17 weeks in the NFL. But again, like I said, you need to be able to enter your picks in person or via their mobile app, which you still have to be within the state of Nevada to submit those on your mobile app.
Matt Simo: So a proxy can do that for you because we’re located in Las Vegas, we actually will go down to the sports book and submit the picks for each of our clients on a weekly basis for 17 weeks. And basically do that work for them so they can sign up. In fact, I just got back from the Westgate earlier today, they started a Super Contest signups on January 13th this year, the earliest they’ve ever done it. So, we’ve been busy going back and forth the last couple of weeks getting people signed up already. They have about 25 entries in there right now and you know that’s going to continue to grow. Like I said, to probably hit close to 4,000 this year. And, that’s basically our job, is to get people signed up for the contest and then kind of take over the duties of submitting picks for them throughout the seasons since they’re not here in person to do it themselves.
Ryan Knuppel: That’s amazing. So, do they have to actually be there to sign up or do you… So they have to sign up?
Matt Simo: They do, yeah. That is the main requirement. Yeah. They have to come and that’s why the Westgate started things pretty early because they knew they could capture a lot of people who’re come in for the Superbowl and the NFL play offs. People, every year they say, “Oh, I wish I could have signed up in January or whatever. I wish I could sign up during March Madness.” Because those are the two busiest times outside of the regular season for the NFL. The season’s already underway at that point. So they need to get out here any time, basically between January and the start of the season, which would be the middle of September this year. So, you get out here, sign up in person, you can meet up with us, we fill out some paperwork, help you get entered and then yeah, and then we kind of take over as the picks submitter for the entire season. That’s basically how it works.
Ryan Knuppel: Right. So then they get the picks to you and you get the picks to the spot they need to be. And so, from there, they don’t have any reason to go back if they don’t want to. So, that’s pretty amazing.
Matt Simo: Yeah, just hopefully they can come back in January and collect a big check at the end or any kind of prize money really is great because it depends on the contest, whether you’ve got… Right now the Super Contest is a $1,500 entry fee. They can take up to three entries and then same thing downtown at the Circa. It’s a $1,000 entry fee, but they’re going to start taking entries in March. So, between the two contests, that’s when… A lot of people will wait until they can sign up for all of them at the same time. And that timeframe is generally going to be early March, probably, for the kickoff and bat. But yeah, the Super Content sign ups, like I said, have already started.
Ryan Knuppel: Cool. So, I mean, you threw around, let’s just say 4,000 entries are going to be in the Super Contest this year. What would be the percentage of people that actually need a proxy or that use a proxy? I guess, is it…
Matt Simo: Yeah, that’s a good question. I would say 80, 90%, something more around that range. There’s still a decent number of locals that submit their picks in person or via the mobile app, like I said, because they’re allowed to do that now. But yeah, most of the people are going to be from out of state, because they want to get it on the price pool because you’re talking about 1.5 million, maybe closer to $2 million for the Super Contest grand prize next year. And then, Circa Sports Million awarded a million dollar grand prize this year as well.
Matt Simo: So, people are in it for the big money payout and even if the individual states have football contests, you’re not going to see a prize pool nearly as big as that. Especially right off the bat, maybe over 10, 20 years as they build up the contests it might be a little different.
Matt Simo: But, like I said, the Circa Sports Million, to get almost 2000 entries in the first year, is really like a remarkable feat. And the Super Contest is going to grow and hit possibly 4,000 entries this year and the Circa Sports Million will potentially double what they did last year and get over 3000 entries, which is just amazing.
Ryan Knuppel: That’s cool. That’s really cool. And so for people that are not, I guess, been a part of these two contests, what percentage are they going to have to hit at to even compete in something like this? I mean, five picks a week. 17 picks.
Matt Simo: Yeah, that’s a good question too. I mean…
Ryan Knuppel: Where are you at? 70% is that too high? I mean, what are you going to have to hit?
Matt Simo: I would say to win it you got to hit about 70% but the place in the money it’s going to be closer to low 60% range. So yeah, that’s a… Not to be too intimidated. I try to tell people, “Look, winning is one thing. It’s going to take an incredibly hot streak to do that. You’re going to have to go 17 weeks and probably go three and two, four and one every week to do that. And you can’t really afford to have a losing week to win the thing.” But to place in the money, that’s another story.
Matt Simo: So the cheaper contest paid out the top 100 this past year. And I think, basically they go on a point system. So you get a point for every winner you get. And then if it’s a push, you get a half a point. So out of 85 possible points, you needed 51 and a half, I think it was, to the cash this year. So, that’s obviously, that’s pretty impressive to be able to do that.
Ryan Knuppel: Yeah, not easy, but it’s fun.
Matt Simo: Right, you’re get a 51 and a half, that’s not easy to do for sure. But I mean, I’m trying to see what the percentage was of that this past year. Let’s see, 51 and a half or 51…
Ryan Knuppel: But I mean, it’s beyond… For me, these contests are so much fun because I mean, it gives you something to kind of hope for each week. And I know…
Matt Simo: Yeah, definitely.
Ryan Knuppel: Just something to really try to compete with some of the best. Because some of the people in these contests are the best handicappers across the world. I mean, there’s really good handicappers here and just to be a part of a competition that is with people, like yourself, is really cool and really fun to do and anybody can get hot. I’m telling you, you can get hot even if you aren’t the best handicapper, you can get hot for a good streak and really compete and that’s a lot of fun.
Matt Simo: Short period.
Ryan Knuppel: Exactly.
Matt Simo: I’m [inaudible 00:14:48] right now, [inaudible 00:14:49] the Super Contest, you need 51 points out of 85 to cash this year in the top 100 and that’s a little over 60%. So that kind of gives you an idea of what [inaudible 00:14:59] to cash. And then the winner hit right around 70%. That’s kind of like the… The goal is to hit… If you can hit 70% you’re going to have a good chance to finish in the top two and win a million bucks. Well, next year it’ll be closer to 2 million, like I said.
Matt Simo: But the cool thing like what you said, is to stay engaged over the whole season. I mean, so you get off to a bad start. Both of these contests, the Super Contest and the Circa Sports Million, both of them have quarterly awards that they give out, which is really cool. So if you get hot for like four weeks, we had the first quarterly winner in the Circa Sports Million last season, I think. I believe he went 17 and three over the first four weeks and he walked away with close to $144,000 just for that four week period, which is pretty awesome.
Ryan Knuppel: Not a bad payout for a few weeks, right?
Matt Simo: Yeah, exactly. Granted, it’s not easy to do that, but if you could go hot for four weeks like that, that’s a pretty nice path to have. And the Super Contest is going to do that as well. They’re going to have quarterly payouts that are $100,000 each in 2020. So that’s just something to keep in mind. Over 17 weeks it’s really hard. I don’t want to say it’s easier to do four weeks because it’s not, but if you can catch fire for four weeks, you’re going to win six figures. It’s pretty cool thing as well.
Ryan Knuppel: Absolutely. Well cool Matt. Well, I’m not going to keep you much longer. I know you’re a busy man running from the sports books back and forth there in Vegas. But hey, where can people go if they’re interested? Because I guarantee people are listening, like, “Man, I didn’t know I could sign up if I didn’t live there. That’s cool.”
Matt Simo: Yeah, exactly, you’ve just got to get to Vegas.
Ryan Knuppel: Well, that’s easy to do, we can get there once, but how would they get ahold of you? What’s the best way of hooking up with you guys so you guys can kind of help them throughout the year?
Matt Simo: Yeah, sure. Just go to footballcontest.com you can get all the information. We pride ourselves on being the best one stop shop out there to find out about the football contest, learn about the rules, all that good stuff. And then yeah, you can go ahead and even prepay for our proxy service. Our contact information is there as well so you can email us and get that information. Set up a time to meet in Vegas if you’re in town or if you’re wanting to find out more information, we’re more than happy to get back to you and answer any questions you might have. So, footballcontest.com and then on Twitter we’re @footballcontest as well, so you can follow us and you know we have some little contests here and there on the try to win a free…
Ryan Knuppel: Oh, I may have lost you. Are you still there Matt? I may have lost Matt. Matt, you still there? I can’t hear you. I think you may be in a bad spot or something. You still there, Matt? Hello?
Matt Simo: I am here.
Ryan Knuppel: Oh, there we go. I lost you for a few minutes.
Matt Simo: [inaudible 00:00:17:57]. Yeah. A few seconds. I was here. I don’t know. I stayed in the same spot, [inaudible 00:18:01].
Ryan Knuppel: Oh, that’s weird. You got muted all of a sudden. It’s all good. We’ll cut that out. So, go ahead and keep going where you were.
Matt Simo: Okay. Yeah. So, the cool thing we’re doing this year is we’re going to be giving away a pair of free tickets to see the Las Vegas Raiders at the new stadium, in a raffle, to anybody who signs up with us in the Circa Sports Million or the Super Contest this year. So, if you get out here and you sign up with us by Labor Day, we’ll enter you in a raffle and we will be given away a pair of free tickets to a lucky winner there. And yeah, that’s the one way we try to give back to our clients and have some fun stuff that happens. Not only before the season, but throughout the season too, at the end we’ll give away a couple of free entries in the contest for 2021 and free proxy services. So, definitely want to follow us on Twitter @footballcontest and for more information, again, you can visit footballcontest.com.
Ryan Knuppel: Amazing, Matt. Well, I appreciate you being here. I encourage everyone to check it out. We’re definitely going to check it out. I got to get out to Vegas. I’ll probably get out there in March or April sometime. Get all signed up for some of these things and maybe I’ll get hooked up with you as well since, obviously, I’m living down in Florida so I won’t be getting there each week. But that’s what you’re here for.
Matt Simo: Yeah, exactly. That’s what we built our business around and I’m trying to help others get signed up and we’ll take care of the getting the picks in. We try to take the stress out of that part and just leave picking winners to you. So that’s the hardest part of all but yeah, we don’t want you to stress about anything else other than just handicapping the games and getting the picks to us so we can put them in for you.
Ryan Knuppel: All right buddy. Well, I appreciate it. If you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out and audience, once again, footballcontest.com. Reach out to Matty out on Twitter as well. I know he’s pretty active out there, so hey, appreciate you being here and have a great one.
Matt Simo: Appreciate you as well. Thank you.
Ryan Knuppel: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Knup Sports Show. If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider subscribing to our iTunes channel today. Plus visit us at knupsports.com for more picks, previews, strategy, and news. That’s KNUPsports.com.
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