Industry-leading sports betting and iGaming platform DraftKings has announced the financial support of a fund to support dedicated research on sports wagering by the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG). The cooperation was announced in a press release on May 24 and showcases the commitment by the operator to responsible gaming.
Thanks to the contribution by DraftKings, the ICRG can now grant applications of international researchers with a focus on problem gambling in sports betting. The first-of-its-kind studies will help to understand and apply various responsible gaming measures within the industry.
“The cornerstone of our commitment to customers is providing an enjoyable sports betting and gaming experience, and we recognize that we have a responsibility to ensure that customers are playing safely,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said in the official press statement.
The fund was launched by the ICRG to advance innovation and best practices in one of the fastest-growing markets in the United States. Researchers can now submit applications for dedicated studies related to responsible sports betting. It is currently slated to launch specific research in Fall 2021, applications can be submitted in the summer and will conclude in September 2021.
“We are pleased to support the critical mission of the International Center for Responsible Gaming and fund important research that will drive responsible gaming innovation and customer safety forward for the entire industry,” Robins added.
This cooperation is yet another step by the operator to enable a safe and responsible environment for its customers.
DraftKings already offers responsible gaming tools and services such as the setting of betting limits, cooling-off periods, and even self-exclusion from certain or all offerings. Furthermore, they are using social media channels and emails to publish reminders about responsible gaming behaviors.
The ICRG was founded back in 1996 as the National Center for Responsible Gambling (NCRG) and rebranded to its current name on January 1, 2020. It is an American nonprofit group that helps funding research to improve prevention, diagnostic, intervention, and treatment strategies for gambling addictions. Their main focus has since expanded beyond the United States and they have become one of the leading entities in responsible gaming.
With the financial support granted, the ICRG will be able to offer to fund researchers from top-tier academic institutions that aim to gain further insights about key problems and possible solutions for gambling addiction. Among outlined topics of the case studies are differences in sports wagering compared to other forms of gaming, the in-depth evaluation of existing interventions and programs, as well as a closer look at different demographics.
The research fund is open to U.S. based or international public, private, or non-profit organizations. Its newest innovative sports wagering research project will be funded for the next three years. Research results for this project will be published in 2024 but may also become available prior to that based on the progress.
It is an inaugural approach to take an extensive look at the measures in place for what has become a multi-billion dollar betting market. US states were allowed to offer sports betting after the federal ban on state authorization in 2018. It has since become legal in more than two dozen states via in-person betting or online platforms.
“We are incredibly honored to have DraftKings’ financial support, which was instrumental in satisfying our funding needs for the Fund to Support Research on Sports Wagering,” said Dr. Russell Sanna, ICRG Executive Director. “With the expansion of sports betting across the United States, public health research will be critical in better understanding problem gaming, and we are deeply appreciative of the support from DraftKings to fund research that is cutting-edge and can be utilized across the industry and by consumers.”
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the sports betting industry has seen significant gains across the board. In October 2020, Americans legally bet an estimated $3 billion on sports for the first time in a single month, according to the American Gaming Association.
The latest states to join the fray and allow for legal sports betting include Washington, Maryland, South Dakota, Louisiana, Wyoming, and Florida. Further states are moving towards the legalization of the service and may have specific statewide restrictions in place.