Another Voice: Gaming firms are committed to responsible betting
Years in the making, New York has launched legal mobile sports betting, allowing those 21 and over to bet on their favorite teams and athletes using products from top brands including DraftKings Inc., a company that I co-founded and lead.
With great opportunity comes great responsibility, as companies like ours now hold the keys to ensuring that New Yorkers safely try this legal form of gaming.
New York sports fans deserve resources to play responsibly that are informed by science and innovation, beginning with the ability for consumers to self-select money or time limits on their preferred app.
I am proud that DraftKings supports its customers through a relentless focus on responsible gaming education and through bolstering evidence-based research.
First, we believe that educating bettors in responsible gaming will require a deep level of creativity and collaboration, reaching consumers through multiple mediums and with engaging content to instill responsible behaviors.
It’s helpful to look to the recent past when thinking about ways that brands can make a difference in consumer education. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, writers of top-rated television programs like “Cheers” wrote into the script messaging that introduced viewers to the idea of a designated driver to keep drinking safe, social and fun. Reaching “Cheers” fans through their favorite characters did not happen in a vacuum; it represented a clever and accessible effort made possible by many individuals and supported by Harvard and Hollywood.
Brands like ours are already beginning to work closely together with stakeholders on responsible gaming education. For instance, several sports and gaming companies have signed onto the American Gaming Association’s “Have a Game Plan, Bet Responsibly” public service campaign, which teaches consumers responsible sports betting behaviors, through multiple mediums, including DraftKings’ integration with in-stadium digital assets.
While responsible gaming education is one important tactic in promoting safe play, we also have the opportunity to invest in other ways. Recently, the International Center for Responsible Gaming awarded researchers at Bowling Green State University funding for a three-year study assessing sports betting risk and prevalence in the United States, made possible by a new research fund supported by gaming operators including DraftKings.
While operators like us tap in-house talent (including our New York-based employees), supporting academic researchers will ensure that the science advances on a scale appropriate to the burgeoning market.
Jason Robins is co-founder, CEO and chairman of the board at DraftKings.
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