Iowa’s New Field of Dreams: Dave & Buster’s

Written By Chops on April 24, 2018 - Last Updated on April 25, 2018
Dave & Buster's

Having attended eight years’ worth of Chuck E. Cheese and Dave & Buster’s birthday parties, the trend of “wow these kid arcades sure are increasingly looking and feeling like slots” has been upward spike trending. It’s like if cigarette companies openly and aggressively marketed to children back in the day.

Oh, that really happened. Never mind.

Iowa is debating whether or not to let the aforementioned Dave & Buster’s set up shop in their state. A bill passed to allow it, but the concern is over prize limits awarded by these totally benign, not-gaming-like-at-all machines played by kids young and old.

Amusement concessions = gateway drugs?

The crux of the Dave & Buster’s debate centers on amusement concessions and if that constitutes an expansion of gambling. Amusement concessions are essentially the prizes you can redeem from tickets won at a machine. Iowa law prohibits concessions over $100, but D&B has high-value prizes like iPads, free buffets and show tickets to the original line-up of Kansas!, and gaming consoles that go up to $1,000 in value.

Sen. Robert Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids and of no relation to “crisis actor” David Hogg, thinks these $950 amusement concessions are a “slippery slope,” stating if Iowa isn’t careful these types of establishments will be:

“…on every corner in every city and every town in this state. We need to think about this. This is not something that we should do.”

So there.

Wait, Iowa loves gambling

Regardless of if D&B is expanding gambling by offering amusement concessions, Iowa actually is legit trying to expand gambling with their sports betting bill.

Iowa just wants to give the people… give the people what they want. That should be part of their state slogan. It fits right in with their current “Fields of Opportunity.” Because nobody loses gambling, right?

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Steve “Chops” Preiss has 15 years of experience in the gaming industry. Chops began writing and producing content for digital media sites during the early poker-boom years. He has twice been voted by his peers as one of the 20 Most Influential People in Poker. Chops has also written and produced segments for a primetime gaming TV show on Versus (now NBC Sports Network) and distributed a poker program to over 160M global households.

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