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States Say “No” to Dave & Buster’s Gambling

States Say “No” to Dave & Buster’s Gambling

Last week, we released a video detailing plans for how Dave & Buster’s gambling could become a real thing. The company has plans to roll out peer-to-peer betting through their app for guests in their restaurants who are over 18 years of age. We also speculated that this would run into legal challenges, and we were right. Of course, this was sort of easy to predict so we can’t be too proud of ourselves.

The Dave & Buster’s gambling announcement sparked immediate responses from gaming regulators and lawmakers alike, with questions of  legality and concerns of underage betting. The company believes that friendly betting between family and friends is more social gaming than gambling, but their opinion may not be the one that matters.

Illinois lawmakers immediately introduced legislation to preempt any potential betting at Dave and Buster’s locations int he state, and are skeptical of the “social betting” argument put forth by the company. The Ohio Gaming Commission also expressed reservations about any betting in Dave & Buster’s restaurants or through their app.

Then in Pennsylvania, the Gaming Control Board is studying the concept and the implications of any Dave & Buster’s gambling integration. They have already received complaints from concerned citizens and advocacy groups who say the company would be permitting gambling activities through games resembling slot machines and other casino games.

Now, Nevada is the latest state to address these plans, with the Gaming Control Board asserting that such activities would not be permitted in amusement centers. Board chair Kirk Hendrick emphasized their opposition to any activities that could facilitate underage gambling or businesses catering to a substantial minor clientele, and it’s difficult not to appreciate their worries.

All in all, this is a very delicate situation. And as gambling focused publishers and video producers, we must admit that allowing Dave & Buster’s gambling may not be the best thing for our industry. Those who oppose betting will use this to say that we don’t care about underage gambling or addiction, which is bad for business. And honestly, with the expansion of sports betting, online casinos and poker, and land based gambling halls, do we really need any more betting?

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