The Michigan Gaming News Letter

DraftKings Partners with Division on Addiction for New Responsible Gaming Initiative

Furthering its responsible gaming mission to mitigate harm and protect vulnerable populations “by providing training and resources for employees and consumers,” DraftKings has entered into a strategic consulting agreement with Cambridge Health Alliance’s Division on Addiction.

Together, DraftKings’ responsible gaming team and the Division will create a systems-based approach to training employees in responsible gaming, including a logic model, conceptual map, needs assessment schedule, and an evaluation plan.

In a press release, Jason Robins, co-founder, CEO and chairman of DraftKings, noted that “evidence-based and data driven strategies, created in coordination with [Cambridge Health Alliance’s] premier researchers, will enhance [DraftKings’] player safety policies, product tools and employee training.”

In further support of its responsible gaming initiatives, DraftKings also provides responsible gaming tools for customers, including limit setting, cooling-off periods, and self-exclusion options. The company also contributes to the International Center for Responsible Gaming’s fund for sports wagering research and is a member of the American Gaming Association.

According to Debi LaPlante, director of the Division on Addiction and psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School, “with the rapid expansion of sports betting across the United States,” it is “the perfect time to build actionable and evidence-based strategies for DraftKings.”


Fueled by Windsor-Essex’s low COVID-19 case rate, Caesars Windsor and its employee union, Unifor Local 444, are advocating to accelerate the casino’s reopening by permitting 50% guest capacity, or nearly 5,000 people. While Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that the Province would enter Step 2 of its Road to Reopen plan two days earlier than expected, Caesars Windsor, and other Ontario casinos, does not qualify to open until Step 3 of the plan, scheduled to begin in late July.

While the casino laid off more than 2,000 employees during its closure, Unifor Local 444 is uncertain how many employees will be required to fulfill the needs of Caesars Windsor at 50% capacity. While the casino is unlikely to call back all 2,000 employees for a partial reopening, David Cassidy, the President of Unifor Local 444, hopes that employees will soon begin training in preparation for reopening.

To support an early reopening, Caesars Windsor plans to maintain safeguards in the form of quality employee training, security, and cleaning operations. An early reopening of the casino, according to Member of Parliament Brian Masse, as quoted in an article, may provide “an independent model . . . that comes with a high degree of surveillance and activity and people management as practice.”


The 2021 National Conference on Gambling Addiction and Responsible Gambling theme will recognize the pervasive effects of the pandemic. Its theme is ‘Embracing Change Together’  and all the conference activities will occur online. The pandemic has also caused changes in how people can seek and receive help, and ways that responsible gambling and prevention programs can best be delivered.

With this year being its 35th iteration, the conference is the oldest and largest annual national conference that brings together people from all facets of healthcare, research, government, and the many segments of the gambling industry. With top-notch national and international experts as speakers, as well as those who work on local and state levels, the conference is a unique resource for everyone who works in these fields, as well as those in recovery and concerned others. From tele-therapy to digital tools to insightful policy, the conference provides both detailed in-depth knowledge and cross-training opportunities.

On its conference homepage NCPG noted ”Now more than ever, it is critical that we all work together to learn about new methods for prevention, treatment, and responsible gambling as well as basics and continuing developments in the field.“

The Main Conference will be held on July 14-15 and 21-22 from 12:00-4:00 p.m. EDT.  Conference information, schedule details, how to register and more are available here.

Sharing this positive sentiment for the partnership, Robins said that DraftKings looks “forward to continuing our relationship with the Division . . . to expand our research-driven approach to responsible gaming.”