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DraftKings announces $1 Million+ responsible gaming initiative

20 January 2022

(PRESS RELEASE) -- DraftKings Inc. today announced a multi-year financial commitment to assist the state councils across the country providing critical funding which will support the work of local nonprofit organizations. As part of the new initiative, entitled The State Council Funding Program, DraftKings has offered each state council $15,000 per year for three years, a total overall commitment of $1,575,000 over the span of the three-year program.

“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,” said Christine Thurmond, Director, Responsible Gaming. “DraftKings is committed to advancing responsible gaming in collaboration with state councils across the U.S. 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 State Council Funding Program may be used at the broad discretion of each council to bolster services and programs for individuals and families, and also for council staff, including applying the funds to trainings, conferences, helplines, and general capacity building. A state council may also use the funding to explore the potential for capacity building within neighboring states without a council presence. The program will begin a three-year trial in January 2022.

“State councils provide a first line of defense for addressing the needs of people impacted by problem gambling,” said Keith Whyte, Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), whose membership includes the 35 State Affiliate Councils. “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 State Council Funding Program announcement comes after an active year for responsible gaming initiatives at DraftKings. In 2021, DraftKings devoted significant financial resources and deployed its responsible gaming staff to spearhead several initiatives including:
  • An agreement with the Cambridge Health Alliance, Division on Addiction, Harvard Medical School to pioneer a systems-based approach to employee training in responsible gaming.
  • A commitment to the American Gaming Association’s public service campaign Have A Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly which teaches consumers best practices in engaging in sports betting, such as the importance of only betting with legal, regulated operators and setting personal limits on play as necessary.
  • The expansion of responsible gaming education and marketing using a broad range of customer touchpoints including email, social media, DraftKings retail sportsbooks, and across in-stadium assets including via the Have A Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly campaign.
  • Multiple financial commitments to support evidence-based research, including one to the International Center for Responsible Gaming for a three-year study assessing risk and prevalence of sports betting problem gaming, and one to the Kindbridge Research Institute, which is embarking on its 50x4 Vets project at the nexus of veterans and responsible gaming.
  • A comprehensive in-house approach of offering the responsible gaming team as a key partner to teams across the company.
  • Internal investments to strengthen its capacity to promote responsible gaming for all staff and in front of consumers.
A leader in digital sports entertainment and gaming, DraftKings is committed to creating inclusive and responsible pathways for people to build, create, imagine, and innovate through the DraftKings S.E.R.V.E.S. program, standing for Service, Equity, Responsibility, Vitality, Entrepreneurship and Sports. Responsible gaming is a key pillar of the S.E.R.V.E.S. program and DraftKings’ responsible gaming focus is to protect consumers with groundbreaking technology, effective staff training, education and resources for customers, and through the support of evidence-based research. Additionally, DraftKings tailors its products to provide customers with a robust set of responsible gaming tools they need to play responsibly, including limit setting, cooling-off periods, and self-exclusion, while engaging with customers across social media and other channels to instill responsible gaming behaviors.

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