A dozen spicy wings and a 12-team parlay? The sports betting experience is coming to a Buffalo Wild Wings near you via one of America's largest bookmakers.
MGM Resorts International and its sports betting venture Roar Digital announced a multiyear deal with national sports bar Buffalo Wild Wings on Thursday. It's another visible shift in the American sports betting culture.
In the coming months, odds and point spreads will begin appearing on screens at select Buffalo Wild Wings. On Thursday, the two companies will launch Picks and Props, a free-to-play, mobile-only football game that mimics sports betting with point spreads and prop bets and rewards winners with prizes, including trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
It's only the beginning, as legalized sports betting continues to spread across the United States. The MGM-Buffalo Wild Wings' partnership is focused on opportunities in states that enter the expanding sports betting market. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have passed sports betting laws. There are 1,200 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in the U.S., with restaurants in every state.
MGM and Buffalo Wild Wings will begin a test program this year in New Jersey that gives customers inside the restaurant exclusive perks on the new BetMGM app, such as enhanced odds and free bets. The companies plan to expand the program into additional states with mobile betting.
"As the largest sports bar in the country, Buffalo Wild Wings has the opportunity to pioneer sports gaming experiences for fans, and we are taking the first critical step on that journey through our partnership with BetMGM," Buffalo Wild Wings president Lyle Tick said in a release announcing the partnership.
"This multiyear relationship will strengthen as states adopt sports betting regulations, with strategies already in place to drive customer adoption, engagement and loyalty," added Adam Greenblatt, CEO of Roar Digital.
Buffalo Wild Wings is not becoming a sportsbook, Tick said. There will be no in-person, over-the-counter betting, and the seating arrangement won't be altered significantly. Instead, Tick plans to use MGM's sports betting technology to fuel a competitive, engaged environment, while also maintaining a welcoming atmosphere for those who don't have anything at stake.
"We're a sports bar that is based on being social, watching the game, having a good time," Tick told ESPN. "We're very conscious, with second and third screens, the way people engage with content has evolved. The more you can make it fun ... that's to the benefit of the guest, to us and BetMGM as well."