Is Kroger Really Letting Customers Gamble In The Store?

You may have been shopping at your local grocery store and thought, "The only way this grocery store could make my shopping trip better is if they had a dedicated area for people to go gamble." It sounds nice, doesn't it? After buying your milk and bread for the week and finishing up in the grocery store produce department, you can go to the casino by Aisle 7 and engage your fellow shoppers in a round of Baccarat or slots to try and score a couple of extra bucks for the ride home. While your local grocer probably doesn't have any future plans to install any Vegas-style slot machines near the checkout lane, it seems that one grocery company is making an attractive offer to sports fans looking to make some bank on their next grocery run.

According to, grocery store giant Kroger seems to have plans to install sports gambling kiosks in their stores. Kroger, alongside ACME Fresh Markets, are two of over 1,100 businesses that have applied to have these gambling kiosks installed in their stores. Winsight Grocery Business reports that, should Kroger's application be accepted, customers will be able to freely gamble in their local Kroger store starting January 1. While Kroger changed grocery stores forever, why exactly turn to gambling in the first place? Why are so many Ohio businesses applying to have gambling kiosks installed, even if they normally have nothing to do with gambling?

Ohio is legalizing sports betting

According to CBS Sports, sports gambling is well on its way to becoming legal in Ohio by January 2023. Buckeyes Wire reported that Ohio Governor Mike DeWine legalized sports betting by signing a bill that goes into effect on January 1, 2023, the same time Kroger and other businesses would be able to launch their sports gambling kiosks in stores (per Winsight Grocery Business). While the reason for such a long wait time may be because the rules and regulations are still being agreed upon, sports fans will be glad to know they can bet on any team of their choosing alongside everyone else when — and if — Kroger gets the go-ahead for their kiosks.

It would appear, then, that Kroger is attempting to cash in on the hype of legalized sports betting. The idea of being able to shop and put twenty dollars on Brody Rogers or Lunden McDay does sound pretty attractive, sure, but is the idea of putting gambling machines inside a place that sells groceries a bit ridiculous? Maybe at first glance, but other businesses say that such machines are vital to bringing in a profit. Pennsylvania, for example, has an impressive 15,000 "skill games" in operation across the state (via Casino), with many operating in convenience stores, bars, and grocery stores. Business owners who have the machines claim to collect $2,000 per month, a tidy profit that helps to keep smaller businesses afloat.