MGM Resorts, Buffalo Wild Wings Partnership Will Have Patrons Feasting on Burgers, Brews, And Bets

Posted on: September 5, 2019, 11:35h. 

Last updated on: September 6, 2019, 02:01h.

MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) is bringing its digital sports wagering platform, BetMGM, to Buffalo Wild Wings locations across the US, marking the first time a gaming company has partnered with a sports bar to offer betting options to guests.

Have a bet with your burger thanks to a deal with Buffalo Wild Wings and MGM. (Image: TheStreet)

Shares of MGM, the largest operator on the Las Vegas Strip, were up 2.1 percent in midday trading on the news. Minneapolis-based Buffalo Wild Wings is privately held and is controlled by private equity firm Roark Capital, which finalized a $2.9 billion deal to acquire the casual dining chain in February 2018. The sports bar is part of the private equity company’s Inspire Brands portfolio, which also includes Arby’s, SONIC Drive-In and Rusty Taco.

In accordance with applicable regulatory requirements, the partnership will deliver sports gaming experiences at a national scale inside Buffalo Wild Wings through MGM’s digital gaming platform, BetMGM,” said the companies in a statement.

BetMGM is part of the gaming company’s tie-up with GVC Holdings, known as Roar Digital.

Betting On Growth

The deal is bet on further expansion of sports betting across the US. Today, 13 states have legal, operational sports wagering, a number that is expected to continue growing as more states look for additional revenue sources.

Buffalo Wild Wings has more than 1,200 sports bars around the US and plenty of those venues operate in states where sports wagering has not been approved. For example, the company operates dozens of restaurants in California, Texas, and Florida, the three largest states, none of which are close to approving sports betting.

The company also runs sports bars in states that have approved sports betting, including new entrants Indiana and Iowa, as well as established markets, such as Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, among others.

MGM and Buffalo Wild Wings are rolling out their partnership today on a nationwide scale with a free football game, Picks and Props, just in time for the start of the NFL season tonight. That game will be played on mobile devices, with prizes featuring a trip to Las Vegas or to MGM’s Borgata in Atlantic City, N.J. “to compete in the first BetMGM sports betting competition.”

Speaking Of New Jersey

If there’s a state outside Nevada where sports betting has really taken flight, it’s New Jersey and that activity is one reason why the Borgata is cementing its leadership in Atlantic City. Later this year, BetMGM and Buffalo Wild Wings are planning a pilot program in the Garden State aimed at increasing customer engagement and loyalty.

“The program will give consumers exclusive perks, such as enhanced odds and free bets, when the BetMGM app is accessed inside Buffalo Wild Wings. Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM aim to expand the program to additional states as legislation allows,” according to the statement.

Other terms of the deal include Buffalo Wild Wings opening an outlet in MGM’s Mandalay Bay on the Strip next year. At least two more of the restaurants will be opened in other MGM venues, but specific locations were not mentioned.