A Slam Dunk: DraftKings Responsible Gaming Achievements in 2021

The DraftKings Sustainability Report 2021 is out and highlights everything the online sports betting and casino brand accomplished under its responsible gambling initiatives in 2021.
April 28, 2022

Our top priority is to make sure our customers play safely and responsibly and to be customer-centric in everything we do.DraftKings has recently published its 2021 Sustainability Report, looking back at everything the company achieved in 2021 when it came to environmental, social, and governance initiatives.

Within those initiatives falls responsible gaming, a broad-brush term used to describe ways an online gambling provider will keep players’ interests at heart.

This includes offering them a suite of tools they can use to limit time and money spent on the site. Education on what problem gambling is — which is applicable for players but also for staff. It also encompasses all internal systems that check that players are of legal age to gamble, are who they say they are, and are where they say they are. They also have teams dedicated to noticing player behavior that may indicate that they are struggling with gambling addiction or harmful behavior.

DraftKings hopes to become the “gold standard” within the industry when it comes to keeping games fair and players safe and, in 2021, focused on five main areas including:

  • Training and educating both players and staff on all things responsible gaming
  • Making sure all advertising adhered to the American Gaming Association (AGA) standards
  • Helping fund problem gambling research
  • Improving responsible gambling tools on the platform
  • improving detection and identifying players exhibiting problem gambling behavior, and then intervening accordingly

“Our top priority is to make sure our customers play safely and responsibly and to be customer-centric in everything we do,” DraftKings CEO, Jason Robins said in the report’s introduction. “We are dedicated to listening to our customers, building high-quality products that are easy to use, providing excellent customer service, and continuously innovating as we work day in and day out to enhance our customers’ experiences.”

Here, we take a closer look at what DraftKings achieved in 2021 when it came to responsible gaming.

DraftKings Responsible Gaming Initiatives & Achievements: 2021

DraftKings Responsible Gaming: Training & Education

DraftKings Responsible Gaming: Marketing & Advertising

DraftKings Responsible Gaming: Research and External Engagements

  • Started laying the groundwork to create a systems-based approach to employee training on responsible gambling.
  • Announced a multi-year funding commitment to Kindbridge Research Institute’s Veteran Research Program.
  • Donated to the ICRG’s Fund to support research on Sports Wagering.

DraftKings Responsible Gaming: Platform Tools, Detection and Intervention

  • Created a robust dashboard to provide accurate, real-time insights into players’ RG tool usage trends.
  • Built and implemented an RG-specific in-app notification for sportsbook and online players.
    • This gives players helpful tips and reminds players to gamble within their means.
  • Developed additional RG content covering DraftKings’ platform patron protection, external advocacy organizations, and platform tutorials.
  • Working with the Player Protection team, DraftKings improved systems for manual escalation and account reviews — which helps target people who are displaying troubling gambling behaviors.
  • Established an RG Technology team tasked with identifying improvements on the detection and intervention project.
  • Established working groups to execute the design and implementation of the detection and intervention program.

DraftKings Responsible Gaming Goals for 2022

And as for 2022? DraftKings has ambitious plans.

“We plan to continue to expand our training and education programs, increase the customizability for safer play experiences, enhance and promote RG messaging, and fund ongoing research,” the RG slide on the presentation reads. Core areas DraftKings will target include:

  • Improve the “safer play experience” online
  • Expand education and training programs
  • Continue to promote responsible gambling messaging to players

Perhaps the most ambitious of all is its launch of the State Council Fund in the US. The fund will provide responsible gambling councils in 35 states with close to $1.6 million in funds to be used in the fight against problem gambling.

In total, DraftKings has pledged to give away over $1.5 million over three years to help local state problem gambling councils with their work.

“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 active at the time that the Fund was announced.

“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.”

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