Charles Oakley, Wager Score Aim To Educate College Students About Responsible Gambling

Written By Mike Mazzeo on August 2, 2022 - Last Updated on August 9, 2022

The next chapter for Charles Oakley: responsible gambling. 

The NBA’s last enforcer is now charged with protecting college students from getting out of line with their bet amounts. 

Bo Grey, founder of Wager Score, has partnered with the Charles Oakley Foundation to advocate for responsible gambling in New York and elsewhere. Wager Score is also a partner of the Entain Foundation and BetMGM. Ex-Giant Amani Toomer is also involved. 

“Who wouldn’t want that guy in your corner to represent your brand?” Grey said of former New York Knick Oakley. “He was an enforcer, right? At the end of the day, he’s a protector. To have someone that committed and dedicated to what we’re doing has just been a privilege, and it’s been really good for us.” 

What is Wager Score?

Recently, Grey and Oakley visited several Big Ten universities to spread awareness, with legal sports betting getting more prevalent across the country.

“You just try to talk to them and educate them,” Oakley said. “It’s all about promotion, and they’ve got to believe in it.” 

As Grey puts it, Wager Score — a downloadable mobile app — is essentially “a FICO (credit) score for gambling.”

According to the company’s website: “Wager Score delivers real-time affordability data to help protect your finances. Know your score when you play with a participating gaming partner — when you need it — always free.” 

Wager Score also allows bettors to “play so proceeds from your bets, win or lose, fund your favorite (charitable) cause — at no cost to you.” 

For NY sports betting, emphasis remains on responsible gambling

Grey told PlayNY that the industry must do a better job at informing the younger generation about the potential harmful impact of gambling. 

“I think the industry could do more,” Grey said. “They’re still talking about self exclusion and setting your limits. Those were things that were done in the brick and mortar gambling industry. It’s been studied, and shown that it’s not effective. 

“You have to combat technology with technology — and that’s what we do at the Wager Score. Think about a FICO score for gambling. We’ve created that and patented that and it’s an affordability check that gets ahead of that risk. And once people are betting more than they should it gets them to try to slow down. 

“I think everyone’s always trying to do more. Unfortunately in the US, it’s a race to the bottom now, everyone’s more concerned about making a profit. So unfortunately, responsible gambling takes a backseat.”

Grey uses college street teams on campuses to create a peer-to-peer system where students can educate and help one another. 

“We’re not telling kids to bet or not to bet. We’re just saying understand the potential harm, that everything is not ‘risk-free,’ know your limitations, know the technology you can use,” Grey said. And it’s really about educational awareness. … This generation doesn’t get their data from a TV. They get it from a phone screen, or their friend posting on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook.” 

Grey is encouraging responsible gambling education to start in the homes of high school students — similarly to financial education. 

Said Oakley:

“I think these kids really gravitate toward it and want to learn more about it.”

Photo by AP / Rich Schultz
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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