Buffalo Wild Wings Discusses Sportsbook Deal with DraftKings
Buffalo Wild Wings wants to become a legal sportsbook in several states and is close to a marketing deal with DraftKings, the daily fantasy sports (DFS) site. Buffalo Wild Wings’ goal is to open sportsbooks at their restaurants in New Jersey, Louisiana, and Delaware.
DraftKings is the largest DFS operator in the United States, with a database of over 13 million American game enthusiasts. Since the May 2018 US Supreme Court decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), DraftKings wants to turn its DFS business into a full sports betting operation.
Buffalo Wild Wings is an international sports bar and casual dining chain which was founded in 1982 in Minneapolis. Buffalo Wild Wings, sometimes known as B-Dubs by its owners, includes 1,225 locations across the United States.
Buffalo Wild Wings Profile
The company operates in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, with 625 locations owned directly by the company and another 612 locations owned through license holders. Buffalo Wild Wings, which features hamburgers, sandwiches, and chicken wings, has operations in 9 other countries worldwide: Canada, Mexico, Panama, The Philippines, Vietnam, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and India.
Each location is full of dozens of LCD television sets fitted on the walls. While they eat, visitors can watch the full range of sporting events taking place at the moment. The restaurant naturally attracts a large percentage of sports fans.
Buffalo Wild Wings’ top executives, Sally J. Smith and Alexander H. Ware, believe a sportsbook on-site would be a huge boon to the company’s revenue stream. DraftKings has the technical expertise to handle a high volume of sports bets. The DFS company also knows how to market to sports gamers in the United States.
DraftKings Sportsbook New Jersey
DraftKings has DFS operations throughout most of the United States. Since the company launched in 2012, DraftKings has learned how to mass market to American sports fans a type of gaming similar to bookmaker bets — though not the same. Since its troubles began with US regulators in 2015, DraftKings’ executives also became familiar with the pitfalls of US gaming laws, legal battles, and lobbying efforts.
Also, DraftKings was the first to develop a sports betting app for the New Jersey online sports gambling market. While DraftKings has not discussed expansion into other states, it is a given that a DFS operator would want to expand wherever sports betting is legal. DraftKings’ main rival, FanDuel, was brought by Paddy Power-Betfair a few months ago and already is building a US sports betting brand alongside Ladbrokes.
When asked about its plans, a company spokesman for Buffalo Wild Wings said they are “uniquely positioned to leverage sports gaming to enhance the restaurant experience for our guests.”
Where Is Sports Betting Legal in the USA?
At present, only four US states have legal betting on single-game sporting events: Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Mississippi. A handful of other states, including Pennsylvania and West Virginia, have bills in their state legislatures which would legalize sports betting.
Even more — Connecticut, New York, Louisiana, and Michigan — are the source of speculation about sports betting regulations.
How a sportsbook deal with Buffalo Wild Wings and DraftKings would work is another matter. The gaming media online discussed whether Buffalo Wild Wings could offer sports betting in one of their restaurants (in states it is legal). Most BWW restaurants have touchpad devices to help players play trivia games, but whether those would be converted to sports betting is another matter.
DraftKings/Resorts Casino Licensing
For instance, Legal Sports Report said that Buffalo Wild Wings would not be able to open sportsbooks in their restaurants. If so, that would put a damper on the company’s bookmaker ambitions. For certain, they would have to partner with an existing gaming operation with a casino license.
That is why the company is in talks with DraftKings. While DraftKings does not have a casino license in New Jersey, it does have a sub-license with Resorts Casino – Morris Bailey’s Atlantic City casino which partners with PokerStars on online poker and casino sites.
In fact, DraftKings began taking bets through its sports betting app on August 1. The August 9 football game between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Browns (pictured above) was the first NFL game which the DraftKings Sportsbook took bets on.
Buffalo Wild Wings Sportsbook?
If Buffalo Wild Wings wanted to take bets from New Jersey gamblers, they would need to sign with DraftKings – thus gaining licensing through the Resorts Casino license. Such a deal would not work in other states. For instance, Pennsylvania’s proposed law makes sub-licenses illegal.
Such is an indication of the complicated nature of sports betting in the United States. Like India, Australia, or Germany, the federal nature of the laws means sports betting operators face a patchwork of jurisdictions.