Dave and Buster’s is getting into the betting business

Dave and Buster’s is getting into the betting business

May 01,2024
New York CNN  — 

You can already bet real money on basketball, baseball, and football – so why not Skee-Ball, Hot Shots basketball or Dance Dance Revolution?

Dave and Buster’s (PLAY), the popular restaurant and entertainment chain, is getting into the betting business.

The company is looking to make some extra revenue on the back of the explosion of online sports betting apps over the past five years. But unlike companies like DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars, Dave and Buster’s wants to get involved in another kind of gambling, the $6 billion social betting sector.

A new partnership with gamification technology company Lucra could let its five million D&B loyalty members make small bets, likely between $5 and $10, on arcade games through the company’s app.

Dave and Buster’s currently operates about 222 venues across North America and boasts nearly 50 million unique visitors a year. Shares of the company, which also runs Main Event Entertainment, are up more than 50% over the past 12 months.

The move into gambling means introducing technology that allows users to make wagers on low-stakes social games.

“Friendly competition really is a big fuel for our economy, whether you’re playing golf on Sunday with your buddies, or you’re going to play pickleball or video games or even cornhole at a tailgate. There’s so many ways that you can compete with friends and family, and I think gamifying that and digitizing all this offline stuff that’s happening is a massive opportunity,” Lucra CEO Dylan Robbins told CNN.

Lucra does not use the terms “bet” or “wager” when referring to its product and classifies itself as a skills-based game. Leaders of the company say that these stipulations allow them to avert the regulations and permitting requirements that apply to gambling operators. That means Dave and Buster’s could start up its new program in as quickly as a week, the company said.

.But some fans of Dave and Buster’s remain skeptical.

“I don’t get it,” wrote one user on the company’s subreddit. “‘Hey man, bet you $5 I can beat you at shooting hoops.’ ‘Ok, but put it in the app so that D&B can take a cut.’”

Dave and Buster’s has not yet disclosed if there will be a fee associated with the new service and did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

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