DraftKings, BetMGM Partner With Kindbridge to Start Colorado Problem Gambling Program

Sports betting operators BetMGM and DraftKings have teamed up with Kindbridge Behavioral Health for a revolutionary problem gambling resource program in Colorado.

Thanks to this new partnership, self-excluded bettors now have direct access to various recovery services, group support, and comprehensive mental health assessments.

DraftKings, BetMGM Announce Colorado Partnership with Kindbridge

This new pilot program allows Colorado bettors who self-exclude from BetMGM Sportsbook or DraftKings Sportsbook to schedule a telehealth appointment with a specialized problem gambling treatment provider. From there, they can receive an in-depth mental health assessment and be directed to appropriate resources.

Richard Taylor, Senior Manager Responsible Gambling at BetMGM, detailed the program, saying:

“As part of this program, all BetMGM CO players who self-exclude will receive a direct link to Kindbridge for a screening, in-depth assessment, care plan, and access to peer support and educational groups.”

Kindbridge already offers a free introductory mental health screening for those with a potential problem. This new program, however, goes well beyond that.

Self-excluded bettors can access a variety of mental health assessments designed to detect more than 80 mental health-related disorders, from bipolar disorder to schizophrenia. These assessments can even identify primary, secondary, and tertiary care needs and distinguish co-occurring addictions and morbidities.

Ultimately, the program’s goal is to equip problem gamblers with the proper resources for a successful recovery.

A Revolutionary Step for Problem Gambling in Colorado

Responsible gambling has become a popular industry topic lately, with the onset of NFL season. Discussing gambling addiction, on the other hand, remains rather taboo.

Colorado’s recent focus on problem gambling began when the Colorado Division of Gaming announced a new rule requiring operators to implement stronger player protection methods. Beginning this October, sportsbooks must introduce new rapid response communication strategies and a scoring system for problem gambling risk detection.

BetMGM CO and DraftKings CO took this requirement one step further, applying a proactive approach to the issue. With the help of leading mental health service provider Kindbridge, these two sportsbooks are now setting a precedent for the entire industry.

BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt celebrated the new partnership, saying:

“Kindbridge is a leader in developing world-class mental health care that comprehends the unique challenges associated with gambling addiction. We are eager to champion the growth and expansion of connecting problem gamblers with the crucial services they need.”

Colorado’s Problem Gambling Program Could Mark Industry Turning Point

This Colorado pilot program marks a major step toward creating a safer gambling environment for players. Now that two major sports betting brands have taken initiative with problem gambling, it’s only a matter of time until additional operators follow suit.

Self-exclusion, which allows bettors to voluntarily ban themselves from gambling activities, is available in most legal gambling states. But until this Colorado partnership, self-excluded gamblers have received zero recovery assistance.

These players are traditionally encouraged to call 1-800-GAMBLER, much like anyone who thinks they have a gambling problem. Once there, a certified specialist can offer state-specific resources and treatment options.

Unfortunately, this is still true for every state other than Colorado.

For now, problem gamblers must specifically self-exclude from BetMGM or DraftKings in Colorado to access these recovery resources. But that may not be the case for long.

Kindbridge intends to scale the program nationally following a successful pilot phase.

Expect this partnership to usher in a new, more responsible frontier for American sports betting in the near future.

Alec Cunningham is a lead writer and analyst for Lineups.com. She has covered countless online sports betting and casino legislation topics and now specializes in responsible gambling and gambling addiction recovery. In 2022, she served as a panelist at the All-American Sports Betting Summit, discussing the ever-evolving role of women in the gambling industry. As a college athlete, Alec Cunningham played Division II golf at Tusculum University. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Professional Writing. After working in the music industry as a concert promoter, tour manager and artist developer, she returned to her love of written word in 2020. Since then, Cunningham's love of sports has led her to become a responsible gambling advocate.

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