Dave and Buster’s to Offer “Friendly” Betting on Arcade Games

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
USA Legal Betting
Dave and Buster’s to Offer “Friendly” Betting on Arcade Games


  • Bets will be limited to a certain threshold
  • Customers will place their bets via the D&B Rewards app
  • Social betting is estimated to be worth $6 billion

The days of betting on the Super Bowl, World Series, and the World Cup? Those are outdated.

The new era inspired by the rapid proliferation of legal sports betting was confirmed by an unlikely source on Tuesday: arcade and restaurant company Dave and Buster’s. The family-friendly entertainment destination with more than 222 North American locations will soon allow visitors to place “friendly” bets on different machines.

Bets will be available in limited sizes on machines such as Skee-Ball, Hot Shots basketball, and others.

Changing the game(s)

Dave & Buster’s houses everything from in-house restaurants to laser tag, virtual reality gaming experiences, motorbike racing machines, giant Connect 4, miniature bowling alleys, and much more.

Customers load up special gaming cards they swipe on machines before playing them. Each machine costs a certain amount of credits, which are paid for using the card.

A player’s performance on the machine will determine how many tickets are added to their total. Tickets can then be exchanged for prizes in a smaller section of the venue.

Whereas prizes are usually pieces of candy, keychains, nerf footballs, and other small items, the ability to win money by betting on arcade games gives patrons the opportunity to win a much more universal prize: cash.

Bets will be handled on the app “D&B Rewards,” available for Apple and Android. Gamification software company Lucra will help Dave and Buster’s launch the app in the next few months, according to CNBC.

“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,“ D&B senior vice president of entertainment and attractions, Simon Murray, said in a Tuesday press release.

CNBC also said that Dave and Buster’s already has more than five million users on its rewards app, which offers them free games and restaurant items, plus other promotions. The company also hosts 30 million unique visitors annually across the U.S. and Canada.

The growth of social betting

Lucra has not revealed what the betting limit will be, though its average across its history as a company is $10.

The company works to capitalize on the momentum and popularity of online sportsbooks by creating a platform for what were traditionally friendly, informal wagers—such as who will score more points in a game of Skee-Ball.

“Lucra helps our partners drive user adoption, increase retention and engagement and add new monetization streams to their business,” said Lucra CEO Dylan Robbins.

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

Lucra avoids the need for gaming licensing and regulation since its platform falls under the umbrella of “skill-based” games. They also use terms such as “contests” and “challenges” to describe the platform instead of “bets,” “wagers,” “gambling,” and other words that are synonymous with the sports betting industry and companies such as BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, and others.

Gaming research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimated that social betting is a $6 billion industry.

Super Bowl champion tight end Zach Ertz and two-time World Cup champion Julie Ertz are among a group of investors that helped raise $14 million.