DraftKings-backed ICRG funds sports betting research at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University

DraftKings announced Monday that the International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) has awarded its three-year research grant for the Fund to Support Research on Sports Wagering to researchers at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

DraftKings’ financial contribution allowed the ICRG to proceed with a competitive request for applications from researchers around the world interested in tackling problem gambling. With this funding, they will be able to study the issue’s prevalence as well as risk specific to sports betting on a national scale. 

The ICRG created the fund to focus on responsible gaming in sports betting with the goal of developing peer-reviewed, scientifically based research that contributes to the understanding and application of responsible gaming in the industry.

Beginning this year, the ICRG accepted applications filed by researchers at U.S.-based or international public, private or non-profit organizations interested in exploring the issue for a three-year period. After concluding a peer review, the ICRG Independent Scientific Advisory Board selected Bowling Green State University as the final award recipient. 

The study aims to:

  • Establish the prevalence of sports betting behaviors in the adult population in the United States
  • Identify risk factors for problematic sports betting behaviors
  • Explore how technology influences sports betting
  • Establish the natural trajectories of sports betting behaviors over time

In an official statement, Christine Thurmond, Director of Responsible Gaming for DraftKings, spoke about the research and said: “A key pillar of our commitment to responsible gaming at DraftKings is our support for advancing research in this area. We were honored to support the ICRG with launching the Fund earlier this year to provide researchers at the top of their field an opportunity to compete for funding to advance responsible gaming knowledge. I want to congratulate the ICRG and Bowling Green State University on this milestone.”

Principal Investigator Joshua Grubbs added: “This research project seeks to study the rapidly changing face of sports betting in the United States, with a focus on understanding what factors might lead some people to develop problematic play, whereas other people are able to wager without problems. Our hope is that this work can better inform efforts to promote responsible play and prevent the potential harms that problem gaming can cause.”

DraftKings also stated its commitment to creating inclusive and responsible pathways for people to build, create and innovate through the DraftKings S.E.R.V.E.S. corporate social responsibility program, standing for Service, Equity, Responsible Gaming, Vitality, Entrepreneurship and Sports. 

The company’s responsible gaming focus is to protect consumers through the support of evidence-based research. DraftKings offers limit setting, cooling-off periods and self-exclusion options, as well as an expansion of responsible gaming education and marketing to a broad range of customer touchpoints including email, social media, its retail sportsbooks and across in-stadiums assets in collaboration with the AGA’s public service campaign “Have a Game Plan, Bet Responsibly”. 


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