Buffalo Wild Wings is ‘actively exploring’ adding sports gambling to restaurants

Buffalo Wild Wings is considering a new way to bring in customers: sports betting.

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Buffalo Wild Wings is considering a new way to bring in customers: sports betting.
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Hollis Johnson

Buffalo Wild Wings is exploring a new way to attract customers as the chain aims for a turnaround.

“As the largest sports bar in America, we believe Buffalo Wild Wings is uniquely positioned to leverage sports gaming to enhance the restaurant experience for our guests,” the chain said in a statement to Business Insider. “We are actively exploring opportunities, including potential partners, as we evaluate the next steps for our brand.”

Gaming Today and ESPN first reported that Buffalo Wild Wings is considering exploring the gambling space, following a May Supreme Court decision that lifted the federal ban on sports betting.

With the decision, it is now up to individual states to decide whether they want to legalize sports betting within their borders. According to a study by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, 32 states will likely have sports betting within five years, with almost half of those states legalizing gambling within two years.

states where sports gambling will likely be legalized

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Shayanne Gal/Business Insider

Buffalo Wild Wings could use a new way to attract customers.

The chain struggled in recent years with slumping sales and a monthslong battle between executives and an activist investor before being acquired by Arby’s parent company, Roark Capital Group, in February. At the time, CEO Paul Brown told Business Insider that executives planned to try to find new ways for the chain to innovate.

“I think that if you look back when Buffalo Wild Wings was really, really, really successful, it was really the only one out there doing what it was doing,” Brown said. “We had a nationalized local sports bar, and then more competition has come in, and I think that some of that competition has been a little bit more innovative.”

Brown continued: “I think there’s an opportunity to figure out the 21st-century incarnation of what made it so successful during particularly the early 2000s.”