Gambling & Restaurants: Will Sports Betting Be On The Menu?

Sports betting is something most of us have done at one time or another; a friendly wager with a friend, or maybe a small pool among everyone watching the game for beer money, the sort of thing. Because, until recently, it was against federal law to gamble on the outcome of any sport.

Thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling, though, those days appear to be gone.

Reaction to this change has been varied, but some businesses looking to build their existing brand have been eyeing the possibilities. Buffalo Wild Wings, for example, has openly talked about the possibility of offering betting options along with chicken wings and beer according to USA Today. The question a lot of folks are asking, though, is how common will this be?

Partnering With Sports Betting Services

One thing that seems to have gotten swallowed up in the hype of BWW’s announcement is that the company spokesperson candidly said they are exploring options and partners for sports betting services. This is important to note, because Buffalo Wild Wings is one of the largest chains of sports bars in America, but even they acknowledge that building a betting platform from the ground up is probably not a feasible option if they want to make a profit off of the recent relaxation in sports betting laws. So it’s likely that, in order to be sure they don’t violate any state or local laws (which are still in effect) that they would partner with a service that already offers sports betting.

So while you can now place bets at your local sports bar, the profit would be split between the bar (as the host) and the actual betting service (as the one providing the book).

If this particular business model works, then a partnership might be an ideal way for other, smaller businesses to remain competitive. Because they wouldn’t need to build a sports book from the ground up, becoming experts in local ordinances and gambling laws to do it. That is their partner’s responsibility. So, in exchange for being the host, restaurants would be able to make some profit from sports gambling with minimal investment of their own capital and energy.

Will It Become Common?

While it’s possible that we see a big boom in sports betting, it’s equally possible that it becomes a fad that fizzles out. Because if there is a demand, then someone will step up to supply it.

Given how much sports betting happens illegally, it’s possible this could become a new social experiment in decriminalization. However, that will depend entirely on the public’s demand, and on how businesses respond to it.


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