DraftKings appoints Christine Thurmond as director of responsible gambling

DraftKings is doubling down on its commitment to champion responsible gambling with its latest hiring.

The daily fantasy sports provider turned sports betting operator DraftKings has hired Christine Thurmond as its director of responsible gambling.

This news comes just days after the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) outlined a new list of guidelines for payment providers.

Who is Christine Thurmond?

Prior to joining DraftKings, Thurmond served as a senior business contributor at the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gaming (MCCG) and has held various leadership positions. Thurmond spent almost 20 years at Harvard Medical School and worked on the team that established the Division on Addiction at Harvard Medical School.

While on the Division on Addiction, Thurmond oversaw the administration of education and research for the department and helped to establish several gaming-related programs.

Tim Dent, DraftKings Chief Compliance Officer said: “Our goal in hiring a Director of Responsible Gaming was to find an established expert with a deep knowledge of the issues and a track record of pushing our industry forward and that’s Chrissy. We are committed to being a leader in responsible gaming and, given our foundation as a tech company, we think Chrissy can help DraftKings take an innovative approach to this critical issue.”

DraftKings in the US

Since the fall of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, DraftKings has managed to establish itself as a household sports betting brand.

DraftKings currently operates its online sports betting platform in several states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and New Hampshire. The operator also operates land-based sportsbooks in New Jersey, New York, Iowa and Mississippi.

Last month, DraftKings entered a partnership with Twin River Worldwide Holdings to offer sports betting in the state of Colorado when the market goes live.

In December, DraftKings confirmed that it would be merging with SBTech. Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp will acquire the businesses to create a combined entity that will be listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. According to the announcement, the combined entity will create “the only vertically-integrated pure-play sports betting and online gaming company based in the United States.”

New NCPG guidelines for payment providers

On Monday, the NCPG issued a new set of guidelines for payment providers so that can play a “critical role” in combating gambling harms.

The guidelines are essentially a set of steps that payment providers can take to minimize the amount of gambling harm faced by consumers. Step one is for providers to actively encourage gamblers to set limits on game time and the amount of money that can be wagered and that payment providers could try to incentivize putting limits in place.

The NCPG also suggests for payment providers to adopt the use of know-your-customer practices and hat self-exclusion is essential to help prevent gambling harm and that financial institutions should implement their own self-exclusion mechanics.

The council also said that financial institutions should use research to fight problem gambling and that payment providers should use personalized responsible gambling messages to reach customers.

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