Should sports betting be served up in grocery aisles?
Kroger, Giant Eagle and Acme Fresh Market have applied for licenses to install sports gaming kiosks at Ohio locations as the state gets set to legalize sports betting at the start of 2023.
Ohio’s Casino Control Commission has granted preapproval for the kiosks at 62 Giant Eagle locations, 42 Kroger locations and nine Acme Fresh Market stores. Final approval comes from the commission.
Sports betting only became legal outside of Nevada in 2018. It’s now allowed in more than two dozen states and set to expand to others. Sports betting has since been seeing exponential growth, driven by casinos and online sites such as Fanduel and Draftkings.
Delaware has been the only other state to allow sports betting at restaurants, bars, food establishments and retailers, including grocers and c-stores, that act as lottery agents. In Delaware, it’s restricted to football parlay bets, involving multiple games on one bet.
In Ohio, lottery officials prequalified 1,254 businesses interested in hosting sports betting kiosks through Friday, August 12, with the majority consisting of bars and restaurants, according to Casino.org. In Ohio, the gaming kiosks will offer a variety of betting activities, including spreading wagers, over-under wagers, money line wagers and parlay wagers.
Establishments in Ohio applying for sports betting licenses must have liquor licenses and lottery sales capabilities. As with lottery tickets, a primary benefit of adding sports gambling kiosks at retailers is foot traffic.
Matt Schoch, content manager at PlayOhio, part of the PlayUSA network of websites covering gambling news, told Columbus Business First, “Now, while you’re picking up snacks and drinks for the game, you can also bet on the Buckeyes, Browns or Bengals. Any reason to get more folks in the store is worth a shot.”
Grocers and other retailers would be exposing themselves to risks of gambling losses and addiction. Ken Davis of Fairborn, OH, told WHIO-TV, “There’s going to be a lot of broke people; wives will be mad at them.”
- Milk, eggs, bets: Kroger and Acme Fresh Market applying to put sports gambling kiosks in grocery stores – Cleveland.com
- Kroger Wants Sports Gaming Kiosks in Some Ohio Grocery Stores – Winsight Grocery
- Is Kroger Really Letting Customers Gamble In The Store? – Mashed
- Giant Eagle Latest Grocery Chain to Apply for Ohio Sports Betting Kiosks – Casino.org
- Why Kroger could launch sports betting facilities – Columbus Business First
- Allowing sports betting at restaurants, bars, grocery stores will be good for customers, worker says – WHIO
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see adding sports gaming kiosks as an acceptable extension of lottery sales and a promising foot traffic driver for stores? Do the upsides outweigh the potential risks?