The biggest sports bar chain in the USA is set to add sports betting to the menu.
On Thursday, Buffalo Wild Wings announced it has partnered with MGM Resorts International and its online betting spin-off Roar Digital on a national sports betting initiative involving BetMGM.
Roar Digital itself is the product of a 50/50 venture between MGM and international gaming giant GVC Holdings to pursue sports betting opportunities in the US.
The new Buffalo Wild Wings venture has both near-term and long-term implications involving free-to-play sports games and actual sports betting.
These plans include launching a free-to-play predictions game for customers around the country, showing BetMGM odds on TV at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, offering perks to BWW customers who access the BetMGM app in regulated states, cross-promotional efforts and more.
Here’s MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren on the partnership:
“Our partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings is an important development in MGM and Roar’s position as the leader in sports entertainment and betting. With more than 1,200 sports bars across the country, Buffalo Wild Wings is firmly established as a “go to” venue for sports viewing in all of its markets. Adding access to MGM’s world class properties and the BetMGM mobile app will create unique customer experiences and redefine how fans enjoy sports.”
Free-to-Play Game Launching Across the Country
Beginning this week, Buffalo Wild Wings is introducing a free-to-play sports betting predictions contest for the NFL season.
The new Picks and Props game is available to customers across the country and will allow players to place sports-like wagers without risking anything, but offer actual prizes such as the following:
- Trip to Las Vegas to place a parlay wager on the Super Bowl for a potential $1 million payout
- Trip to the Borgata in Atlantic City to participate in the first BetMGM sports betting contest
Sports fans in all states can participate by downloading the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ Rewards app to make picks based on the spread, select the highest-scoring fantasy players and answer prop-style questions. Fans can play from anywhere but must check in at a Buffalo Wild Wings location between Thursday and Sunday for a chance to win prizes.
New Jersey and Beyond: BetMGM Perks at Buffalo Wild Wings Locations
Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM plan to hold a trial run during which customers who access the BetMGM app while inside a New Jersey Buffalo Wild Wings location will be eligible for special perks such as boosted odds on select wagers and free bets.
The plan is to test the program in New Jersey and expand into additional states with legal online betting if all goes well.
Buffalo Wild Wings also plans to launch three new locations at MGM properties or in partnership with BetMGM where mobile betting is regulated. Roar Digital CEO Adam Greenblatt said the partnership will lead to “exciting and innovative game day experiences.”
Additionally, BWW locations across the country will begin providing custom sports betting content and live odds on TV for all patrons.
It Was Just a Matter of Time
Buffalo Wild Wings is a natural fit for an arrangement just like the one announced today. Between the bar fare menu, cold beer on tap and focus on all things sports, Buffalo Wild Wings already has all the accoutrements of a full-fledged sportsbook minus actual wagering. Even its customer base resembles the demographics of the typical sports bettor in the US.
With that in mind, it isn’t particularly surprising to see Buffalo Wild Wings cozy up to one of the national’s largest sports betting and gaming companies. In fact, word that Buffalo Wild Wings was looking into potential sports betting partners began making the rounds more than a year ago.
Around that same time last year, Buffalo Wild Wings also formed a short-term partnership with DraftKings to run in-person fantasy contests every Sunday for the NFL season. It’s clear Buffalo Wild Wings has been thinking along these lines for quite some time now, and today’s announcement has finally outlined a firm plan.