May 6, 2024 3 min read


Arcade Chain Dave & Buster’s Faces Backlash Over Betting Initiative

The recently introduced betting functionality enables users to place bets on various arcade games within the Dave & Buster’s mobile application

Renowned US restaurant and arcade chain Dave & Buster’s has expanded its offering by introducing a betting feature to its mobile application. However, this new endeavor has triggered controversy and has become the subject of scrutiny from both lawmakers and industry experts and representatives.

Dave & Buster’s Faces Legislative Pushback Over New Betting Feature on App

The new betting feature, which Dave & Buster’s announced last week, allows users to place wagers on a wide range of arcade games in Dave & Buster’s mobile app such as Skee-Ball and Hot Shots basketball. Dave & Buster’s has partnered with software company Lucra Sports to introduce this new offering which will provide players with an interactive experience. 

However, Dave & Buster’s initiative has sparked concerns among lawmakers, which are opposing the new feature. With bipartisan support, Illinois State Rep. Daniel Didech filed in a legislation proposition to ban such family entertainment venues from offering gambling activities, reported CNBC. Didech underscored that such establishments cannot provide adequate safeguards when it comes to protecting problem gamblers. Furthermore, such offerings may also expose younger individuals to gambling activities.

On top of that the Ohio Gaming Control Board has also pointed out that Dave & Buster’s new betting feature may be violating state laws, which regulate gambling and illegal prize facilitation. This goes to show that it is not as easy to implement gambling products in the context of family-friendly venues. 

Dave & Buster’s Tries to Enter Gambling Market Amid Controversy

Dave & Buster’s and Lucra Sports have refrained from any comments regarding the criticism coming from lawmakers and state authorities, however, the industry continued with the backlash regarding the betting feature. 

Brett Abarbanel, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has highlighted how important it is to have elaborate protection measures, particularly targeting the younger demographics that may frequent such venues.

With this new offering, Dave & Buster’s is trying to set foot in the lucrative gambling market, which has been flourishing in the US in the past few years, and cash on the popularity of sports betting. The chain is also trying to increase customer engagement and enhance the entertainment experiences of its customers thus driving revenue growth.

Lucra Sports has made assurances about having responsible gaming policies in place and the company has also underscored the peer-to-peer betting classification. However, there are still concerns regarding the possible impact of this new product on society and the general regulatory compliance of this mobile app feature.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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