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5 Online Casino-Restaurant Promotions We Needed Yesterday

After FanDuel Casino offered free chicken dinners for a year, here are some suggestions for other food-casino partnerships

playing cards and dice laid over a background of fried chicken
Photo by PlayUSA
Derek Helling Avatar
5 mins read

If you live in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia and you have never tried your luck with an online casino app while scarfing down some food from a restaurant, one of two things must be true of you; you either haven’t yet checked out any of the real-money online casino apps available in your state or you’re a liar.

Given the propensity for people to dine and sign on to such apps, it’s somewhat of a wonder that online gambling companies haven’t taken on more cross-promotional deals with restaurant brands.

At the same time, there’s an obvious reason why restaurant brands tread lightly in this vein. Considerations aside, the synergistic opportunities are numerous. In some cases, they are too delicious to not have yet traversed from the realm of fantasy to reality.

Online casino brands’ samplings of restaurant collabs

There have been some partnerships between online gambling companies and restaurant brands. For example, BetMGM Casino rolled out a Buffalo Wild Wings-themed slot game in three states earlier this year. The two companies have partnered for special sportsbook promos in the past, too.

More recently, FanDuel Casino offered new players a “Winner Winner Free Chicken Dinner” sweepstakes promotion. The promo ended on Aug. 3 and it did not disclose any specific restaurant brand tie-in. However, a $5,000 gift card would probably be sufficient to buy chicken dinners for a year as the promo touted.

DraftKings offers special promotions around the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest every year, but these few examples are about the total of food-related promotions by online gambling companies in the US. It isn’t hard to understand why they aren’t more common.

Gambling promos aren’t on the menu for restaurant chains

There is at least one thing that online gambling companies and restaurant chains have in common; the hunger for bigger profits. Regardless, it’s obvious why restaurant owners have approached collaborations with gambling companies like someone taking on Buffalo Wild Wings’ Blazin’ Challenge.

The biggest obstacle to such partnerships is the age issue. It’s illegal in US jurisdictions with regulated gambling to advertise gambling products to people under the age of 18 or 21, depending on the laws of the appropriate jurisdiction.

Rather than deal with trying to restrict exposure to the promos to only people of legal age, restaurants find it easier and less risky to simply abstain in this regard. Many restaurant brands use mascots that could be considered directed at children in their advertising, too, so incorporating them into advertisements for gambling could run afoul of the law in that way, too.

Those are the reasons why we’ll probably always see such collaborations limited to brands that already primarily cater to people over the age of 21 like Buffalo Wild Wings. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other appetizing possibilities. For instance, how we haven’t yet seen a collab between Tropicana Casino and the juice brand of the same name is befuddling.

If the world were the oyster of such companies, here are five hypothetical promotions that online gambling companies and restaurants could cook up in the US.

Caesars – Little Caesars

In the realm of too obvious, this relationship takes the cake, or more appropriately, pie. Little Caesars could configure pizza toppings to resemble dice or playing cards and include a promotional code for some free play for new customers at Caesars Casino.

In truth, there is some big crossover potential here. Caesars offers online casino gaming in Michigan, where Little Caesars makes its corporate headquarters. At the very least, you’d think licensing its branding to Caesars for some online casino games could be a way for Little Caesars to earn some cash.

Caesars isn’t the only gaming company with an obvious partner embedded right in its name.

DraftKings – Burger King

Who wouldn’t want to try out a slot game themed after Burger King’s royal mascot? DraftKings Casino is home to several exclusive and proprietary game titles already and this seems a natural fit.

There were a few different directions that DraftKings could go here; White Castle, Jason’s Deli (playing on the name of co-founder Jason Robins), or even Dairy Queen. However, BK simply fits best and DraftKings could take a page out of FanDuel’s playbook to offer a Whopper of a deal with the burger chain.

If DraftKings could get Robins to don The King’s costume for the promo, even better. Sticking with DraftKings’ business and a national fast-food brand, there’s another possibility that seems made to order.

Golden Nugget – McDonald’s

Perhaps no other restaurant brand is more associated with the chicken nugget than McDonald’s. While Golden Nugget’s branding revolves around the actual precious metal, the imagery here is so easy.

Again, a themed slot around McDonald’s nuggets seems an obvious licensing play on the Golden Nugget online casino app. Furthermore, offering coupons for free 20 pieces sounds like a surefire way to acquire new customers for Golden Nugget.

In addition, the world begs for a Hamburgler-themed slot game. Give the people what they want, you cowards.

Ocean – Long John Silver’s

The reach for this collaboration won’t be as great as the previous suggestions on this list as Ocean Casino only operates in New Jersey. Additionally, Long John Silver’s website only lists one location in the Garden State.

These suggestions aren’t necessarily dealing with the realities of the situations, but more the creative angles for partnerships, though. The sweepstakes concept could work well here; sign up for Ocean and get a shot at a year’s worth of hushpuppies.

Ocean could also tap into perhaps the most iconic offering of Long John Silver’s fare; the crumblies. Those crumbs at the bottom of the container of your chicken or fish would make excellent slot game symbols.

Bally’s – Rally’s

Everyone likes a good rhyme almost as much as they like the variety of Rally’s menu. With multiple locations in Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Bally’s online casino currently operates, this seems like a fit as natural as a burger and fries.

Rally’s is one of the few places with a fish sandwich with two fish patties instead of just one on the menu instead of being an off-menu special order. Another unique item is the Monsterella Stix, adding bacon and pepperoni to the traditional mozzarella stick.

A $5,000 gift card for Rally’s could last a winner more than a year depending on their appetite and would be a way for Bally’s to differentiate its promotions in a way that is easy for people to remember. Play Bally’s, Get Rally’s is a tasty serving of rhymes.

While we will probably never see most of these collaborations take place, there’s nothing wrong with having a dream. Perhaps someday, you will be able to redeem online casino reward points for a Wendy’s Frosty.

Derek Helling Avatar
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Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

View all posts by Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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