Dave and Buster Has Plans to Let Customers Bet on Arcade Games

Dave and Buster's Store (Credits: Dave and Buster's)

Dave and Buster’s, the popular arcade chain, has revealed plans to introduce customer betting, a move that has sparked controversy among some stakeholders.

On Tuesday, software company Lucra Sports announced its collaboration with Dave & Buster’s to enable patrons to place bets on arcade games through the Dave & Buster’s app.

However, this initiative has faced criticism from lawmakers, who are raising concerns about the implications of introducing gambling elements into family entertainment venues.

Illinois State Rep. Daniel Didech, a Democrat from Buffalo Grove, took action by filing a bill on Thursday aimed at prohibiting family amusement establishments from facilitating wagering on amusement games.

He also seeks to amend the Illinois Criminal Code to criminalize such activities. Backed by bipartisan support and endorsed by over two dozen state lawmakers, Didech emphasized the need to prevent unregulated gambling in family-friendly environments.

Dave and Buster’s Logo (Credits: Dave and Buster’s)

Expressing his concerns, Didech emphasized the potential risks associated with the lack of oversight and safeguards for problem gamblers, as well as the exposure of younger individuals to gambling activities.

Notably, Lucra’s service allows individuals as young as 18 to participate, raising further alarm about the absence of adequate age restrictions and responsible gaming measures.

The move has also drawn scrutiny from regulatory bodies like the Ohio gaming control board, which expressed reservations about potential violations of Ohio laws regarding the facilitation of illegal prizes for skill-based amusement machines.

The board stated its intent to reach out to Dave & Buster’s for additional information on the matter. In response to the opposition, both Lucra Sports and Dave & Buster’s declined to provide comments.

As the popularity of sports betting continues to soar following its legalization in many parts of the country, businesses are seeking to capitalize on the trend.

Dave and Buster’s Logo (Credits: Dave and Buster’s)

For Dave & Buster’s, the introduction of betting aims to offer customers a novel form of entertainment, prolonging their engagement and potentially boosting spending.

While Lucra Sports highlighted that most wagers on its platform are modest in size, the company has yet to determine the maximum bet amount for Dave & Buster’s.

It asserts that the arrangement is not subject to the same gambling regulations and taxes as sportsbooks, citing the skill-based nature of peer-to-peer betting.

Lucra also claims to have robust responsible gaming policies in place, including options for self-exclusion and self-limitation.

Brett Abarbanel, executive director of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, International Gaming Institute, stressed the importance of implementing adequate consumer protection measures, especially considering the target demographic’s skew toward younger participants.

She emphasized the need for safeguards to mitigate potential risks associated with uncertain outcomes and the value at stake in such activities.

Olivia Murphy
Driven by a commitment to excellence and integrity, Olivia strives to empower her audience with knowledge that enables informed decision-making and fosters a deeper understanding of the business world. She believes in the power of storytelling to bridge gaps, spark dialogue, and drive meaningful progress within the global business community.