VSiN’s New Sports-Betting Studio Grows at Circa Resort & Casino in Las Vegas

The facility is closely related to another studio located at South Point Hotel Casino & Spa

Vegas Stats & Information Network, also known as VSiN has seen a rise in popularity since its creation in 2017. The Las Vegas-based sports-betting company has created a lot of content from its studio in South Point Hotel Casino & Spa. Since October 2020, a brand new studio and control room has been brought online at Circa Resort & Casino.

VSiN was involved in the construction of the new Circa Resort & casino.

“When I first got to VSiN,”Says Brian Rogers, EVP production, VSiN. “we had a single studio at the South Point that would comfortably fit four people, but we knew we wanted space for a bigger production that gave us depth for more cameras. A state-of-the-art broadcast hub — the Circa studio specifically — allowed us to greatly expand our video capabilities and improve our broadcast product. These new studios are the stock-market-meeting-sports, and it’s fantastic to report from the stock-exchange floor.”

Starting From Scratch: Studio Is Built Alongside Circa Construction

The Las Vegas Strip has its longstanding structures, but it’s a location always in development. The city pushed to add the Circa Casino & Resort, which is located at Fremont Street’s northwest end. The building phase began on February 2019, on land that was once home to the Las Vegas Club & Mermaid Casino. But, as the project grew into the first months of 2018, the crew encountered a blockage in the form the COVID-19 epidemic. Derek Stevens, the casino owner, moved forward with an October 2020 opening date.

The control room began to emerge as construction progressed.

Construction was unusual in that, as Stevens and his Circa team built the physical structure of the main facility, the VSiN crew designed and managed construction of the studio and control room in the casino’s interior. The only problem was that the facility was located in an unfinished highrise.

[VSIN Senior Project Manager] Desiree [Schultz], [Chief Engineer] Ken [Sporich], and I were looking at these designs and having to make some pretty fast decisions because we were coming up on a deadline,”Says Miles Gwyn, director of broadcast operations, VSiN. “From my perspective, the process was an interesting one since we weren’t the primary tenant, but the construction team did a great job focusing on a lot of different priorities and keeping us in the loop.”

Construction efforts accelerated in the summer and into fall and the big picture began to emerge. Gwyn, Schultz, Sporich, and the operations team increased meetings with partners, including IT provider Roberts Communications and master-control–system provider Crispin Corp. Because of the pandemic, most meetings were video-conferenced, but, with the arrival of vaccines and the lifting of the most-stringent safety protocols, VSiN’s operations began shifting onsite.

Inside the fully completed control room

“We started getting access to the building [in August 2020] to make a few tweaks,” says Gwyn. “We spent a lot of time to get ready for our first broadcast on Oct. 27, 2020. The team really came together, and, with the help from Circa, we were able to patch in fiber and put cameras in different parts of the facility to showcase this grand opening.”

Broadcast-First Technology based on High-Quality Gear

The new Circa studio features high-powered technology. This is an upgrade to South Point’s audio-centric studio. The main studio features two hosts, each with a VSiN-branded desk. A few Canon EOS C200 cameras capture the action. It’s a striking backdrop that brings viewers into the atmosphere of a high-functioning sportsbook.

“If there are any updates that we want to get,”Rogers: “we can go directly to the oddsmakers who set or change the line. From a location standpoint, you couldn’t ask for a better setting.”

The Circa set provides 24/7 coverage of the 2021-22 NFL Season.

The control room houses Ross Video hardware and solutions. These include a Carbonite production switcher and Tria for video playback. The XPression graphics package is the main driver of VSiN’s on-air product, which bounces around from game to game and needs constant updating based on betting lines provided by BetMGM, DraftKings, and others.

“Ross was doing some great things with acquiring data and turning it around to make it look visually appealing to an audience,” says Gwyn. “The ability to get an XPression system in here was one of the pivotal changes we made [when we first came onsite].”

The remainder of the equipment includes PerSonus audio mixers, Riedel communications and Crispin, as well as Harmonic technology for master controller and Synology storage. Unity Intercom connects to the control room and the South Point facility 15 minutes down Interstate 15.

Fast-Paced Content: Real Time Graphics Keep Viewers Up-to-Date

Since VSiN is a 24/7 network, there’s a show for both avid and new sports bettors. There is a lot of content on the site, but Sundays during the 2021-22 NFL season are a gold mine for fans of professional football.

The control room’s infrastructure is located in the rack room in a lower level of the casino.

The day begins at 8 AM after an expansion of daily programming. ET with the Point Spread Sunday, a two-hour-long program featuring Femi AbebefeAnd Mike Pritchard. The Lombardi line — with Michael Lombardi. Patrick Meagher, Josh Appelbaum — is up next at 10 a.m.–noon and previews some of the insider information. Abebefe will be back to set the scene with THE Pre-Game Show at noon. The Green Zone — a whiparound show with Dave Ross. Wes Reynolds, and a team of remote betting reporters — details the action around the league at 1-8 p.m. To cap off the night, Opening Lines with Jonathan Von Tobel and Matt Youmans at 11 p.m.–1 a.m. looks ahead to the lines of the following Sunday’s games. These shows are available for fans to view on a handful of televisions. Linear and streaming outlets.

Circa studio may be the main hub but VSiN also has setups in South Point and The D Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. These include the Mandalay Bay and Borgata in Atlantic City. Rivers Casino in Chicago is another location. Lombardi is located in Atlantic City and Meagher works at South Point for The Lombardi Line. This allows for flexibility and encourages more content.

The high-intensity show requires up-to-date information from multiple places for viewers who are waiting to place prop wagers or multi-game parlays. The production crew works hard to stay on the same page. The day begins with prep work prior to the start of the day’s activity, which is spearheaded by Motion Graphics Designer Ernesto Morales. Jacob Roach is a producerAnd Technical Director Jeremy WengelThese graphics can be used in the early hours. However, as the odds, lines and spreads change with plays and results, the hard part of the job is changing on-air elements to match data from the sportsbooks. This is where Roach and Wengel’s artful dance comes in. John Brown, Graphics Operator and Data Systems Manager takes place.

A vMix setup integrates remote contributors, as well as onsite reporters across the country.

“The producer, technical director, and graphics operator are communicating to say that this number’s good or hold on a second, this number’s updating because we’re waiting for data to populate,”Rogers. “There are lots of layers to integrate and lots of paths that could fail at any point, but [John] does a great job of creating all the programs to make sure that we can get all the information that we need.”

Robust Transmission allows multiple set locations with the connected facility

Although the new studio is a crown jewel, VSiN can make use of different parts of the building to produce content. The 1.25m sq. ft. building is impressive, with its three-story, $20 million tall television screen in sportsbook and expansive casino floor.

Stadium Swim is the most prominent and easily accessible feature of the building. It covers 15,756 square feet and has six swimming pools, a television screen measuring 143 feet, and can hold 4,000 people. The outdoor lounge is ample for watching high-profile sports events like the Super Bowl or a World Series Game 7, but, on a daily basis, VSiN will use this spot on days with beautiful weather or when there’s a big crowd. A shaded area under a cabana, and a private balcony with views of the pools are just a few of the other features.

Fans can also watch live games at the nearby Circa Sportsbook.

Large-scale connectivity is testament to the Circa’s commitment to utilizing the full breadth of the building and giving VSiN more than one location to shoot content and access critical betting market data. This transmission plan not only allows for optimal mobility at the Circa but also allows for seamless connectivity between reporters from across the country. The rack room is located below the control room on the lower level of casino. This room houses an additional staffer who controls a vMix station that monitors the signal of remote contributors and organizes their onscreen layout. Audio is an important production element.

“Audio has become a very demanding job for us in the studio,”Rogers notes “as opposed to our traditional [South Point] studio, where you’re focused on audio. We have so many video guests coming on via Skype that part of our job is making sure that the reporters sound good.”

VSiN is new to the use of remote workflows. Before the pandemic, the company used video platforms, and, when they become a mainstream solution, it wasn’t a tough transition for the team using these cloud-based services from South Point. In addition, implementation of social distancing wasn’t a problem when the company was asked to lessen the size of crews.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the way we reacted,”Rogers: “but we’ve gotten used to working with efficient teams. We’ve been up for the challenge, and I’d say we’ve been as successful as possible throughout this entire pandemic.”

Eye on the Future – Circa Studio’s Blueprint for Expanding Continued Growth

The design of Circa Project has inspired the VSiN Team. The control room is a foundation for even greater innovation in operations and logistics.

Stadium Swim is situated at the top end of the Circa and covers a 15,756 sq.-ft. area. It also boasts a 143-ft. television display.

“When you have a facility collecting data at a faster rate and turning it around into usable graphics,” says Gwyn, “you’re delivering on the promise to provide real-time, actionable information [to your viewers]. We now have another place to show that VSiN is located where the action is.”

Despite the huge benefits of the new facility, progress hasn’t been without setbacks. VSiN, a trailblazer in this segment of the industry, is charting the course and navigating the unknowns. It has made tremendous headway by finding a group of individuals who have a fervor for sports-betting production, and, as legalized sports betting gains traction in more states, this new space can be seen as a steppingstone for the company’s future.

“I’d be hard-pressed to find another network with a collection of sports-betting minds like this,”Rogers. “As we expand and grow, I think we’ve built a model where it’ll be easy for us to scale out.”

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