Global iGaming group Entain has teamed up with NBA Legend Charles Oakley to deliver responsible gambling (RG) programs for underprivileged communities in some of America’s biggest cities.
Entain’s charitable trust, The Entain Foundation US is sponsoring the initiative, led by Oakley, which will deliver RG education alongside other services to help impoverished areas of US cities living with the day-to-day realities of addiction, hunger and economic troubles.
The Oak Out Hunger initiative, will offer prevention and treatment services for problem gambling, alongside other community support which the Charles Oakley Foundation already provides. Entain says this is the first time that RG initiatives have complimented the existing services, such as education and anti-addiction programs.
The campaign will be rolled out at the beginning of 2022 across several cities including:
- Los Angeles
- New York
- New Orleans
It will be targeted to coincide with popular sporting events such as the Super Bowl and March Madness college basketball—occasions which traditionally attract large gambling promotions.
Furthermore, the program will visit other cities and university towns, calling in on the University of Michigan and Michigan State, Indiana University, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, as well as Tennessee and West Virginia.
Martin Lycka, Entain senior vice president for American regulatory affairs and responsible gambling the initiative spoke about the thinking behind the initiative: “As sports betting takes off across many U.S. states, we’re committed to do all we can to ensure that people only bet what they can afford—which is especially important in more deprived communities.”
Lycka continued, “The Oak Out Hunger campaign is truly unique—and effective—in providing essential services to impoverished and underprivileged urban communities across the U.S. The Oakley Foundation is an ideal partner to help us reach those in most need with education on responsible gambling.”
Charles Oakley explained further: “It’s all about giving back to people who are trying to get through life. I go all over. And you see people hanging out on the streets, nowhere to get a meal, some of whom use what little money they have to fund addictions.”
“Our program is about helping to break that cycle. Give them a chance and a good meal. Meet some different people and have a good time.”
Oak Out Hunger and The Charles Oakley Foundation are by no means the only causes to be beneficiaries of Entain’s RG initiatives. The Entain Foundation and the Entain Foundation US are responsible for many safer gambling projects and programs.
On top of its community work, Entain has developed a free app called Gamble Responsibly America which contains a range of tools and resources to help anyone who thinks their gambling might be getting out of control. The app is available both on the App Store and Google Play
The Entain US Foundation was launched in 2019 and the operator describes it as “a first-of-its-kind non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible gambling, sports integrity and corporate compliance in the U.S.”
The “Oak Out Hunger” campaign was launched by The Charles Oakley Foundation in 2020, and has since been helping struggling families in Oakley’s home town of Cleveland.