Three-year funding initiative

DraftKings devotes $1.5M to responsible gaming program to assist US state councils

Christine Thurmond, Director of Responsible Gaming at DraftKings.
2022-01-21
United States
Reading time 2:22 min

DraftKings announced Thursday the signing of a multi-year financial commitment to assist the state councils across the US, providing critical funding which will support the work of local nonprofit organizations. As part of this 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 $1.5 million over the span of the three-year program, which will be open to the 35 state problem gambling councils.

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 within neighboring states without a council presence. The program will begin a three-year trial in January 2022. 

In an official press release, Christine Thurmond, Director of Responsible Gaming at DraftKings, spoke and said: “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 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.”

Keith Whyte, Executive Director, National Council on Problem Gambling, added: “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 announcement of the launch of the program comes after an active year for responsible gaming initiatives at DraftKings. In 2021, DraftKings devoted financial resources and deployed its responsible gaming staff to spearhead several initiatives. 

In an official press release, the company detailed said initiatives, among which are included: 

  • 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.

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