Dave & Buster’s Betting Plans In Jeopardy Following Illinois Amendment

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
Illinois Dave & Busters Betting

Illinois lawmakers are working to amend a preexisting gaming bill to prevent arcades from offering betting. This directly responds to Dave & Buster’s plans for arcade game peer-to-peer betting on games like Skee-ball to capitalize on the growing popularity of social wagering.

Initially, lawmakers introduced an entirely separate bill for this purpose, but that measure was submitted past the legislative session’s deadline. Now, they must try to amend the current bill.

Illinois Says No To Dave & Buster’s Betting

With the initial legislation, HB 5382, being introduced past the deadline, lawmakers in the Illinois House Gaming Committee voted 15-0 to amend HB 394, a bill surrounding the Horse Racing Act. The amendment’s key supporter is Chairman Dan Didech. Didech believes that arcade gambling at locations like Dave & Buster’s is not in line with responsible gaming practices.

Didech cites several concerns regarding D&B’s plans, including the minimum age being 18 instead of 21, which is required for real-money online gambling in Illinois. Didech also feels that exposing teenagers and young children to gambling is a risk with this gaming feature.

There is also the question of how this could negatively impact the regulated gambling business in Illinois. Gaming at arcades would give locals another gambling outlet, which could pose more competition for sportsbooks and casinos.

With the amendment, the new rules may be added before the end of the legislative session on May 24.

More Criticism Of D&B’s Gambling Plans

Illinois is not the only market that has resisted Dave & Buster’s betting plans. Lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Ohio have also voiced their concerns. If D&B moves forward with this gaming plan, it is likely that more markets will examine the social betting options on offer more closely.

The legality of arcade betting will become a topic in more markets going forward. If Dave & Buster’s manages to launch this new product and it is a success, this can start a trend with other franchises. Lawmakers recognize this, which is why immediate scrutiny has befallen Dave & Buster’s. Expect more markets to voice their concerns in the future.