DraftKings Partners With BetBlocker To Bring More Responsible Gaming Awareness

Written By Mike Mazzeo on June 16, 2022

DraftKings has collaborated with UK-based BetBlocker to bring more awareness to responsible gambling. 

BetBlocker is a free software that enables users to set restrictions on their gaming activity. It also restricts access to thousands of both regulated and unregulated gaming sites. 

As detailed by the news release: 

BetBlocker technology allows users to download the software anonymously without having any of their personal data stored. Consumers are empowered to use BetBlocker to manage how long or in what capacity they choose to play, including choosing a range of restriction lengths (1-5 days, 1-3 weeks, 1-6 months, 1-5 years) or using the calendar blocking functionality (e.g. blocking Saturdays, Sundays every week).

DraftKings-BetBlocker partnership earns praise from NCPG

“We think this partnership is a tremendous step forward in providing players with access to a wide variety of responsible gambling tools,” Keith Whyte, executive director for the National Council on Problem Gambling, told PlayNY via email. 

“Blocking software is one important line of defense, particularly for people who are in recovery from a gambling problem. We know that preventing and treating gambling addiction requires a multi-layered approach and that tools like BetBlocker are most effective when combined with the use of limit setting and self-exclusion features on a gambling site, community-based prevention and education, therapy from a certified counselor and of course participation in self help groups to promote behavior change and sustain recovery.” 

Chrissy Thurmond, senior director of responsible gaming at DraftKings, praised BetBlocker’s contributions to safer play for customers. All while “advancing responsible gaming in a comprehensive and consumer friendly way,” according to the news release.

“We share BetBlocker’s vision that technology and innovation are critical to promoting safer play, and we extend a warm welcome to BetBlocker as they build their footprint in North America, following widespread success across the pond.”

New York ramps up responsible gambling efforts

There has been an increase in calls to the HOPEline since the Jan. 8 launch of legal online sports betting in New York. But state agencies like the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC), New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG) and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) continue to promote responsible gaming. 

Signage featuring the first-ever Quick Response (QR) code recently debuted at Resorts World Catskills, MGM Empire City and several other gaming facilities. The QR code enables problem gamblers to connect with locally trained professionals in real time. You simply need to point your phone camera at the code. The phone will ask if you would like to open a link to the website NYProblemGamblingHelp.org.

On May 16, Sen. Joe Addabbo and Assemb. Gary Pretlow had a roundtable discussion with OASAS and NYCPG to discuss how to properly allocate the additional $6 million in addiction funding from online sports betting. That $6 million represents less than 1% of state tax revenue from NY online sports betting. NYCPG had called for 3% — or about $20 million — to provide proper resources for problem gamblers.

As NYCPG Executive Director Jim Maney previously told PlayNY: “We’re going to have to deliver services 24/7 now.”

Addabbo agreed, telling PlayNY that New York needs to reach a point “where we’re offering 24/7 services for problem gambling.”

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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is the Lead Writer for PlayNY, arriving after covering several of New York's professional sports teams in a variety of roles for the past decade. Previously, he served as a beat writer and columnist covering the Brooklyn Nets (ESPN) and New York Yankees (New York Daily News). Mike also covered both the MLB and NBA nationally for Yahoo Sports. In addition, he served as a general assignment reporter for ESPN NewYork.com. He has also had bylines in the New York Times, New York Post, Newsday, Forbes and The Ringer. With PlayNY, Mike brings extensive coverage and unique story angles to what is projected to be one of the biggest and most lucrative online sports betting markets in the country. It's been an arduous and confounding process to get here, but 20 million New Yorkers (many of them die-hards) are now legally able to bet on their favorite sports teams across the state via online and mobile platforms.

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