Home » Dave & Buster’s will soon allow betting on arcade games through app, including in Texas

Dave & Buster’s will soon allow betting on arcade games through app, including in Texas


Low-wage gambling could be coming to popular entertainment establishment Dave & Buster’s. 

The company is partnering with Lucra, a gamification software company, to provide betting on the Dave & Busters app. Lucra’s app allows users to wager on recreational games and professional athletes. 

Dave & Busters was founded in the Dallas suburb of Coppell in 1982. As of now, it has 223 venues in the nation, including Dave & Buster’s other brand, Main Event. 

Here’s what to know about their partnership. 

Dave & Busters to allow betting on arcade games

According to CNBC, customers can make small wage-bets on games like hot shots basketball, skee ball and other arcade games for as low as $5. Lucra’s betting software will work through the Dave & Buster’s app. 

According to the report, Lucra and Dave & Buster’s will limit the size of bets. The amount has not been publicly disclosed yet, but the average bet size has been $10. 

What is Lucra?

Lucra was started in 2019 by Dylan Robbins and Michael Madding, who worked together at Goldman Sachs. The company said its skills-based games are not subject to the same licenses and regulations gambling operators face with games of chance. 

“We’re creating a new form of a digital experience for folks inside of these ecosystems,” Lucra’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Madding told CNBC. “We’re getting them to engage in a new way and spend more time and money.” 

You must be at least 18 years old to wage on Lucra. It’s available in 44 states, including Texas. 

Will customers be able to use Lucra in Texas?

According to a map on Lucra’s website, the gambling software appears fully functional in Texas. 

Gambling is limited in Texas. As of now, Texans can play the lotto, bingo, bet on horses or greyhounds and visit three Native American casinos. Sports betting isn’t legal in the state yet. Since a 2018 Supreme Court decision that allowed states to decide if they wanted to permit sports betting, 38 states and the District of Columbia have legalized sports betting.

What is gambling disorder? 

Compulsive gambling is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your professional and personal life.

According to Yale Medicine, excessive gambling can drain finances, ruin personal and professional relationships, and harm the gambler’s mental health. Gambling disorder affects about 1% of Americans.

A gambler’s behavior isn’t just taking trips to a casino. With access to online poker matches, sports betting, and arguably daily fantasy sports leagues, these can contribute to the disorder. 

How is gambling disorder diagnosed?

The American Psychiatric Association says a gambling disorder requires at least four of the following in a year span: 

  • Need to gamble with increasing amounts to achieve the desired excitement.
  • Restless or irritable when trying to cut down or stop gambling.
  • Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back on or stop gambling.
  • Frequent thoughts about gambling (such as reliving past gambling or planning future gambling).
  • Often gambling when feeling distressed.
  • After losing money gambling, often returning to get even. 
  • Lying to hide gambling activity.
  • Risking or losing a close relationship, a job, or a school or job opportunity because of gambling.
  • Relying on others to help with money problems caused by gambling. 

What are the treatment options for gambling disorder?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently doesn’t approve any medications to help treat gambling disorders. However, several types of psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) can help.