Buffalo Wild Wings Looks to Add Sports Betting Options to the Menu

Posted on: August 8, 2018, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: August 8, 2018, 10:17h.

They’ve already cornered the market on sports fans who love cold suds and hot wings, and now Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW) is looking to expand beyond food, beer, and big screens.

Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings patrons could soon get a side of sports betting with their wings and beer. (Source: Star Tribune)

According to a report published in Gaming Today, the ubiquitous franchise is exploring ways to start offering sports betting at some of its 1,700 locations in the US.

It’s an organic fit. While many casino and racetrack patrons go to those facilities for reasons other than sports betting, people typically only go to BBW with only one thing in mind – to take in every moment of the big game.

It’s already a popular spot for fantasy football drafts and people sweating their daily fantasy sports (DFS) results. So why not allow people to also place a bet in places where it’s now legal?

Of course, they would only be able to offer sports betting in states which have already legalized the game. Right now, that would limit them to about 100 locations in New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Mississippi.

But with more states looking at creating a regulatory framework around sports betting in the months after PASPA was struck down by the Supreme Court, that number will only grow in the months ahead.

Going it Alone

The restaurant franchise, which was recently purchased by Arby’s for $2.9 billion, is looking to do things a little differently.

Unlike some casinos and gaming operations which have been quick to partner up with established sports betting operations, BWW is reportedly interested in running a sports book completely on their own.

MGM Resorts recently partnered with Boyd Gaming in a deal which could allow the companies to eventually offer online sports betting options. Meanwhile, William Hill is in the early stages of a deal that would see them team up with Penn National, the biggest regional gaming operator in the US.

Early indications are that BBW has no inclination towards such a partnership and would prefer run their own sports book operation. Considering its massive marketing budget, and the potential of the new partnership with Arby’s, seeing the chain compete with the big boys when it comes to sports betting isn’t out of the question.

Try, Try Again

The concept of sports betting in bars isn’t exactly new, and BBW wouldn’t be breaking new ground. The franchise had previously offered sports betting options at their Nevada locations, before the practice was banned.

Up until 2013, bars like BBW and PT’s Pubs in the state had sports betting kiosks which were owned and operated by William Hill. However, in an overwhelming 41-0 vote, Nevada lawmakers banned the practice, forcing the removal of the machines and leaving the sports betting business to the established casinos.

But it appears BBW never abandoned their designs on sports betting, and with a new regulatory landscape emerging, they’re poised to once again get in on the action.