Buffalo Wild Wings Partners With MGM, Will Encourage Sports Betting in Restaurants

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Buffalo Wild Wings

The restaurant chain that is most tied to sports is partnering with a sportsbook.

Buffalo Wild Wings has teamed up with MGM and its digital partner, Roar Digital, to ease into the sports betting space.

“The conversation surrounding sports betting heated up very quickly,” Lyle Tick, Buffalo Wild Wings president, told The Action Network. “Sports betting provides us with an opportunity to continue to build the community and engagement that is so much a part of what we do.”

There won’t be betting kiosks or betting terminals built into bars at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Instead, the two will first team up on a free-to-play game, which will be run by MGM’s digital arm, through its BetMGM brand, and will reside inside Buffalo Wild Wings Blazing Rewards app. The game, called Picks and Props, will be available nationwide beginning Thursday. Fans can play the game anywhere, but they have to check into a Buffalo Wild Wings between Thursday and Sunday to claim prizes.

Expect MGM odds to appear in restaurants located in states were sports betting is legal and, sometime in the near future, expect Buffalo Wild Wings to encourage its customers in legal states — it’s currently legal in 18 states, operational in 13 and mobile in seven — to download the BetMGM app while inside the restaurant. The program promises perks to the bettor, such as offering better odds and free bets, for making bets inside BWW.

“The traditional sportsbook has been reinvented,” said Adam Greenblatt, CEO of Roar Digital, a New Jersey-based venture owned by MGM and GVC Holdings. “The sportsbook is now in your pocket on your mobile phone. It’s more powerful for us because we own our own technology and create an end-to-end product, which means we can easily offer better value and customize an experience.”

As opposed to one-off cash kiosks, mobile sign-up also creates a database, which means that, in states that currently don’t have legalized sports betting, the free-to-play model will create a meaningful customer base ahead of nationwide betting.

The sports betting test program will begin inside restaurants in New Jersey, which saw more than $3 billion bet in the first 12 months of legalization and is the second most lucrative sports betting state after Nevada.

Plans also include opening Buffalo Wild Wings establishments inside at least three MGM properties and sportsbooks, beginning with a Buffalo Wild Wings inside Mandalay Bay by next year.

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