Editorial – June 2024


Eddie Adlum 6-2020

When I first heard that Dave & Buster’s was “partnering up” with the Lucra game betting platform, I felt the earth move under my feet. Does this mean that amusement machine players at the industry’s largest FEC chain will be legally able to bet against each other for money or some other prizes on our games? Right now, the apparent answer to that is “yes,” when wagers are placed under the control of the Lucra phone app system.

Five to ten dollar bets are supposed to be the norm on this Lucra system, which that company says is already handling sports betting in some 43 states and (in their words) “is more widely legal than traditional sports betting as it involves skill rather than luck.” And, as you read correctly, up comes that hot button word “skill!” There’s no question that Skee-Ball, for example, is a skill game. But what about the rest? Which is, which isn’t and who will be the arbiter of this?

Before I get ahead of myself, there’s much more to be learned about this alliance between D&B and Lucra. We do know that Lucra flies under the banner of “Native Platform Integration” in the confusing business-speak that’s become so popular in the media these days (note their word “Native”). Their gaming app is not new and is free to one and all. But, at the D&B locations which might offer this (and not every one of their reported 164 D&B-branded stores will), users have to be members of their loyalty program and, naturally, be 18 or older.

The alliance between cash gaming and our industry has been uneasy, as veterans especially are well aware. Put the fact that occasional betting on games like pool and pinball at the location level are common and look back in history where you’ll see slots and bingo pingames legal then illegal then half-legal (e.g. add-a-ball) and then wind yourself through the gray area era. A book could be written just on the subject of all this with a whole chapter devoted to the phrase “thing of value.”

Right now, there’s no legal case involving one more moms arguing that some game is illegally stealing her son’s lunch money for us to worry over. Being guarded within the walls of a D&B store should protect against this kind of thing, and in the future, spread throughout the FEC industry in an orderly manner. As I write this, I don’t know if even the first bet has been made. But I do know that if a trend is on the horizon, it might as well be at the highly-respected Dave & Buster’s.



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