The Entain Foundation U.S. Thursday announced sponsorship of a charitable initiative founded by former NBA player Charles Oakley. The not-for-profit charitable trust will support Oak Out Hunger, an initiative that’s part of the Charles Oakley Foundation. The sponsorship will help provide responsible gambling measures to programs that address, hunger, addiction and economic challenges in underprivileged communities.
“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,” said Entain Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling Martin Lycka in a statement. “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.”
The sponsorship will provide funding and expertise in preventing and mitigating problem gambling to the Oak Out Hunger initiative. For the first time, responsible gambling education will be concurrent with other community services provided by the Charles Oakley Foundation, including anti-addiction and education programs.
“It’s all about giving back to people who are trying to get through life,” Oakley said in a statement. “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.”
The program is scheduled to launch early in 2022 in cities including Los Angeles, New York, Buffalo, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and coincide with the Super Bowl, March Madness, and other sporting events. The campaign also will visit towns near universities, including Indiana University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, West Virginia, and Tennessee.