Earlier this week, DraftKings announced a multi-year, $1.5 million commitment to assist state gambling councils in funding safe gambling programs through local nonprofit organizations. The agreement, aptly named The State Council Funding Program, will start this month for a three-year trial period.
As part of the new initiative, DraftKings offered each state council $15,000 per year for three years. The overall per-state commitment is $1,575,000 over the three years.
Christine Thurmond, the director of responsible gaming at DraftKings, had this to say about the new initiative:
“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.”
Councils will have discretionary power on using funds
Each council has discretionary management for using the funds to improve services and programs for families, individuals, and council staff. State councils may also use the funding to explore the potential for capacity building within neighboring states without a council presence.
“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.”
This collaboration is part of a larger effort to promote responsible gaming, something DraftKings has made clear from the start.
DraftKings’ Active Year in Ensuring Responsible Gaming
The State Council Funding Program announcement comes after an incredibly active year for responsible gaming initiatives made by DraftKings. In 2021, DraftKings deployed its responsible gaming department to enact several initiatives, including:
- Financial commitments to support evidence-based research revolving around addictive and problem gaming.
- A partnership with the American Gaming Association’s Have A Game Plan.® Bet Responsibly™ public ad campaign.
- An agreement with the Cambridge Health Alliance, Division on Addiction, Harvard Medical School to form a new systems-based approach to responsible gaming employee training.
- Expansion of responsible gaming education and marketing via email, social media, the sportsbook, and in-stadium advertisements.
- Expansion of in-house programs to promote and strengthen the company’s safe gaming team outreach.
DraftKings also partnered with the NFL and NCPG in another initiative to expand problem gambling prevention and treatment. The initiative launched last year includes a three-year, $6.2 million investment to help fund local and state programs.
As gambling continues to become legal throughout the country, it’s essential to keep safe and responsible gaming in mind. DraftKings Sportsbook is currently legal in 17 states, making it one of the most popular sportsbooks in the country.
DraftKings is using its position not only to promote safe and responsible gambling. They prioritize both the funding and support of these programs, with a goal to improve gaming for all.