Texas-based gaming and bar/restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s has 93 locations across the United States, and not a single one in New Jersey. Now that their business model is legal in the Garden State, the first of two locations opened Monday in the Woodbridge Center mall. A second is under construction at the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne.
New Jersey was an untapped market for D&B due to a law on the books since the early 1960s, banning the sale of alcohol alongside amusement games that issue tickets for prizes. Also known as redemption games, Skee-Ball was one of the first. Two years ago, Gov. Chris Christie signed a law that made it legal to sip while you sink those Skee-Balls.
At Woodbridge Center, Dave & Buster’s occupies 34,000 square feet on the upper level – plenty of space to “Eat, Drink, Play & Watch Sports All Under One Roof.” No date has been set for the opening of the Willowbrook location.
Perhaps Governor-Elect Phil Murphy should consider pushing additional legislation relating to redemption games. New Jersey was the first state to prohibit the issuing of tickets based on skill. Instead, the redemption is pre-set to a certain number of tickets regardless of the player’s final score. Where’s the fun in that?