Buffalo Wild Wings is joining forces with MGM Resorts International and its sports betting venture, Roar Digital, for a multi-year partnership – a first-of-its-kind alignment between a national sports bar and a gaming leader. In accordance with applicable regulatory requirements, the partnership will deliver sports gaming experiences at a national scale inside Buffalo Wild Wings through MGM’s digital gaming platform, BetMGM. In addition, the deal is expected to spawn collaborations inside MGM properties and sports books, including a new Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar slated to open at Mandalay Bay in 2020. Roar Digital is the 50/50 venture established in July 2018 between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings.
While the strategic alignment between these industry leaders is focused on capitalizing on future opportunities as states continue to pass sports betting legislation, consumers will begin to experience BetMGM at Buffalo Wild Wings as early as this week. The partnership kicks off today with a free-to-play football game available nationwide. Plans also include a sports betting test program in New Jersey later this year with the goal of expanding to additional states as legislation is passed.
“Our partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings is an important development in MGM and Roar’s position as the leader in sports entertainment and betting,” said MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren. “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.”
“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,” said Lyle Tick, President, Buffalo Wild Wings. “This is a landmark relationship between two preeminent experience brands that puts us in a position to innovate the current sports watching experience to bring the best of sports gaming to our guests.”
In-Restaurant Gaming: Nationwide Free-to-Play Game via BetMGM and New Jersey Sports Betting Tests
The first consumer-facing product to come from this partnership is Picks and Props, a free-to-play, mobile-only football game available nationwide starting today when the pro football season kicks off. The game offers a seamless sports betting-like experience with no stakes attached. Players have the opportunity to win prizes like trips to Las Vegas to place a parlay bet for the Big Game that could pay out at $1 million or to Borgata in New Jersey to compete in the first BetMGM sports betting competition. To play Picks and Props, simply download the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ Rewards app, then make game picks based on the spread, answer prop questions and choose top fantasy performers for the week. While fans can play anywhere, they must check in at a Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar between Thursday and Sunday to be eligible for prizes.
Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM also will collaborate on a sports betting test program in New Jersey later this year. The program will give consumers exclusive perks, such as enhanced odds and free bets, when the BetMGM app is accessed inside Buffalo Wild Wings. Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM aim to expand the program to additional states as legislation allows.
Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM will deliver a variety of additional consumer-facing initiatives as the partnership develops over time, including:
- Buffalo Wild Wings sports bars across the country will begin showcasing custom sports book content on TV screens inside the sports bars, featuring live odds provided by BetMGM.
- At least three new Buffalo Wild Wings sports bars are expected to open within MGM properties or in partnership with BetMGM as additional states come online – the first is expected to open in mid-2020 inside Mandalay Bay, which is adjacent to the site of the new Las Vegas pro football stadium.
Adam Greenblatt, CEO, Roar Digital, said, “Buffalo Wild Wings is a perfect complement to our best-in-class sports betting and igaming products as they are leaders in serving up exciting and innovative game day experiences. This multi-year relationship will strengthen as states adopt sports betting regulations, with strategies already in place to drive customer adoption, engagement and loyalty.”
The partnership will be supported by co-marketing initiatives from Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM including joint efforts across digital and social media platforms.
Buffalo Wild Wings and BetMGM will work together to encourage responsible gaming practices in restaurant and via the BetMGM mobile app. For information on MGM Resorts’ innovative responsible gambling program, visit www.mgmresorts.com/gamesense.
About Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings, founded in 1982, is the largest sports bar brand in the United States. Globally, there are more than 1,200 restaurants in 10 countries. Buffalo Wild Wings is part of the Inspire Brands family of restaurants. For more information, visit BuffaloWildWings.com and InspireBrands.com.
About Inspire Brands
Inspire Brands is a multi-brand restaurant company whose current portfolio includes more than 8,400 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, SONIC Drive-In, and Rusty Taco locations worldwide. The company was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. For more information, visit InspireBrands.com.
About MGM Resorts International
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is an S&P 500® global entertainment company with national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 30 unique hotel and destination gaming offerings including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. Expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, the company recently acquired the operations of Empire City Casino in New York and Hard Rock Rocksino in Ohio, which was rebranded as MGM Northfield Park. In 2018, MGM Resorts opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, MGM COTAI in Macau, and the first Bellagio-branded hotel in Shanghai. The 82,000 global employees of MGM Resorts are proud of their company for being recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies®. For more information visit us at www.mgmresorts.com.
About Roar Digital
Roar Digital LLC is the US sports betting and online gaming venture, owned by MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and GVC Holdings Plc (LSE: GVC). Based in New Jersey, the venture was established in July 2018 to create a world-class sports betting and online gaming platform in the United States, in order to take advantage of the new opportunities created by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the U.S. federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Utilizing GVC’s US-licensed, state-of-the-art proprietary technology platform, Roar Digital offers sports betting and online gaming via market leading brands including playMGM and partypoker. The venture will have exclusive access to MGM’s U.S. land-based and online sports betting, major tournament poker, and online gaming businesses.
Statements in this release that are not historical facts are “forward-looking” statements and “safe harbor statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and/or uncertainties, including those described in MGM’s public filings with the SEC. MGM has based forward-looking statements on management’s current expectations and assumptions and not on historical facts. Examples of these statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the opening of new Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants and the expected benefits to be achieved as a result of the partnership. Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements include effects of economic conditions and market conditions in the markets in which MGM operates and competition with other destination travel locations throughout the United States and the world, the design, timing and costs of expansion projects, risks relating to international operations, permits, licenses, financings, approvals and other contingencies in connection with growth in new or existing jurisdictions and additional risks and uncertainties described in MGM’s Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and Form 8-K reports (including all amendments to those reports). In providing forward-looking statements, MGM is not undertaking any duty or obligation to update these statements publicly as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. If MGM updates one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that it will make additional updates with respect to those other forward-looking statements.
Alison Glenn – Buffalo Wild Wings
Marc Jacobson – MGM Resorts International
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