Dave & Buster’s Developing In-App Arcade Betting for Skee-Ball, Hot Shots Hoops

Estimated read time 3 min read

Restaurant and arcade giant Dave & Buster’s plans to soon integrate real-money betting into its mobile application for the company’s rewards members.

Dave & Buster’s guests play Dance Dance Revolution in a Summerlin, Nv., location. The arcade giant will soon allow guests to compete in friendly real-money bets for certain games. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

In a release issued this week, Dave & Buster’s officials revealed that the company is working with Lucra, a gamification software developer with a mission to “connect, energize, and inspire communities through the power of friendly competition.”

Lucra is assisting Dave & Buster’s in modifying its “D&B Rewards” app to allow players to make friendly wagers while playing some of the arcade games.

We’re thrilled to work with Lucra to bring this exciting new gaming platform to our customers,” said Simon Murray, senior vice president of entertainment and attractions at Dave & Buster’s. “This new partnership gives our loyalty members real-time, unrivaled gaming experiences, and reinforces our commitment to continuing to elevate our customer experience through innovative, cutting-edge technology.”

Dave & Buster’s has 222 venues in North America that offer food and drinks paired with classic and modern arcade games. Publicly traded on the Nasdaq, shares of Dave & Buster’s (NASDAQ: PLAY) are up over 50% from a year ago.

Betting Bonanza

Dave & Buster’s embracing betting comes as gambling continues to grow in the United States. Sports betting is legal in nearly 40 states, and casinos are operational in all than a handful of outliers.

Most Americans today reside in a state where they can legally bet on basketball and other sports, so why not on arcade games? That’s the thinking at D&B’s corporate offices.

The Dave & Buster’s rewards app once peer-to-peer betting is engaged will allow friends to challenge one another on several popular games where high scores are the name of the game. The company plans to roll out betting beginning with a small allotment of games including skee-ball, Hot Shots basketball, and Dance Dance Revolution.

The app will limit the friendly wagers to around $10 a bet. Lucra reps say the betting integration will increase engagement and retention for Dave & Buster’s properties.

We’re creating a new form of kind of a digital experience for folks inside of these ecosystems,’ said Madding, Lucra’s chief operating officer. “We’re getting them to engage in a new way and spend more time and money.”

The friendly wagering component is a form of social betting and will not require Dave & Buster’s to acquire gaming licenses from state regulatory agencies. Lucra refers to its services as “real-money contests and challenges” to differentiate the wagering activity.

Anyone aged 18 and up using the D&B Rewards app will be able to participate in the social betting option while inside a Dave & Buster’s.

D&B Opens in AC

One of the newest Dave & Buster’s locations to open is in one of the country’s largest gaming markets — Atlantic City. The Dave & Buster’s located at 2120 Atlantic Ave. took the place of Jay-Z’s former 40/40 nightclub.

The 21,000-square-foot restaurant and arcade is just a block inland from Caesars and the Boardwalk. The Dave & Buster’s facility opened on Dec. 14, 2023.

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