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DraftKings commits $1.5m to US-wide problem gambling initiative


DraftKings has announced a new US-wide funding program to support non-profit organizations and groups delivering support to people suffering with problem gambling and related issues.

Under the State Council Funding Program, $15,000 will be offered to each state council every year for three years, with a total of $1.58m to be offered over the course of the initiative.

Funding may be used to strengthen services and programs for individuals and families, as well as for council staff, with the funds available to use for training, conferences, helplines and general capacity building.

Councils may also use funds to explore the potential for capacity building in neighboring states without a council presence.

The program will launch with an initial three-year trial this month.

“Having spent several years of my career working with the state council in my home state, Massachusetts, I have seen first-hand how these organizations are a tremendous resource for individuals and families and serve as a critical stakeholder and partner for gaming operators,” DraftKings’ director of responsible gaming Christine Thurmond said.

“DraftKings is committed to advancing responsible gaming in collaboration with state councils across the US. Our hope is that this funding will give councils that extra support needed to fund priority areas, expand services, or hire additional staff; whatever is most needed, we want to help financially.”

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has welcomed the campaign, with its executive director Keith Whyte saying: “State councils provide a first line of defense for addressing the needs of people impacted by problem gambling.

“While it’s well established that these organizations provide critical assistance in the community, they don’t always have the resources and funds to take treatment and prevention to the next level. This significant initiative by DraftKings shows their commitment to and knowledge of the importance of the work state councils provide.”

The launch of the new initiative comes after DraftKings in 2021 announced a series of other programmes aimed at promoting responsible gambling.

These included an agreement with the Cambridge Health Alliance’s Division on Addiction at Harvard Medical School to develop a systems-based approach to employee training in responsible gaming.

DraftKings also pledged its support to the American Gaming Association’s ‘Have A Game Plan. Bet Responsibly’ public service campaign, while the operator expanded its responsible gaming education and marketing using a range of customer touchpoints.

Other activity included multiple financial commitments to support evidence-based research into problem gambling, including a study by the Kindbridge Research Institute to research the nexus of veterans and responsible gaming.

In addition, DraftKings developing an in-house approach of offering the responsible gaming team as a key partner to teams across the business and made internal investments to strengthen its capacity to promote responsible gambling for staff and in front of consumers.