Get Yer Heat On!

As I’ve previously mentioned, last fall, five buddies and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate us all turning 50. After studying several YouTube tutorial videos, we tested our luck at the craps table and had so much fun.

Since I won’t be going back to Vegas anytime soon, if I ever get the gambling bug again, I might be in trouble. Sure, I can go to one of our local casinos, but they just can’t compare to the glitz and glamour of Sin City.

Well, it turns out I’ll have another gambling option soon.

Dave & Buster’s is taking its games to new levels by offering “social wagering” on its app. The restaurant chain was started in 1982, and now has 223 locations in North America. They serve burgers and fries, chicken tenders, sandwiches and wings, flatbread pizza and tons of other great food. They’re best known, however, for their arcade games, bowling, laser tag, and even virtual reality.

According to the franchise, it has five million loyalty members and 30 million unique visitors to its locations each year. The company’s stock is up more than 50% over the past year. Dave & Buster’s is hoping by getting into the social wagering game, which is a $6 billion industry, according to gaming research firm Eilers & Krejcik, its stock will soar even higher. After all, allowing loyalty members to compete with one another and earn “exclusive perks” means more customers spending more time at their restaurants, and ultimately, more money.

A social wagering app allows users to place bets or wagers on various events or outcomes, typically for entertainment purposes. Unlike traditional sports betting platforms, social wagering apps usually do not involve real money, but instead rely on virtual currency or other non-monetary rewards, such as points or prizes. In addition, social wagering apps often incorporate social networking features, allowing users to interact with each other and share their bets and predictions.

So, if my buddies and I go to Dave and Buster’s, we will soon be able to place bets on which of us will score the most points playing pop-a-shot, or who gets the highest score in Skee-Ball. I will bet on Tree for both.

Dave & Buster’s is using technology by gamification software company Lucra to power its app. “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.”

Lucra and Dave & Buster’s said there will be a limit placed on the size of bets it will allow, but that threshold has not been publicly disclosed, but they estimate average bets will be around $10. Lucra was created in 2019 by then-Stanford Graduate School of Business classmates Dylan Robbins and Michael Madding. Their software platform allows users to compete for real money in friendly competitions.

“We’re creating a new form of kind of a digital experience for folks inside of these ecosystems,” said Madding, Lucra’s COO. “We’re getting them to engage in a new way and spend more time and money,” he added. Since the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting in 2018, gambling, especially online, has taken off. Lucra’s contests will be available in 44 states for players aged 18 and older.

Critics claim there is no such thing as safe betting and social wagering apps could lead to gambling addiction.

After my experience in Vegas, I’d say that’s a safe bet.

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Reg P. Wydeven

Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney at McCarty Law LLP
Hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps from a young age, Reg’s practice primarily consists of advising individuals on estate planning, estate settlement and elder law matters. As Reg represents clients in matters like guardianship proceedings and long-term care admissions, he feels grateful to be able to offer families thorough legal help in their time of need.

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