Retired NBA legend Charles Oakley has gained the support of the Entain Foundation US for his initiative to include education in responsible gambling with other forms of support to impoverished, underprivileged communities across America.
As part of the collaboration, Entain’s sponsorship will provide both funding and expertise in preventing and mitigating problem gambling to the Oak Out Hunger initiative, resulting in education sitting alongside other community services provided by the Charles Oakley Foundation, including anti-addiction and education programmes.
“It’s all about giving back to people who are trying to get through life,” Oakley stated. “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 programme is about helping to break that cycle. Give them a chance and a good meal. Meet some different people and have a good time.”
Scheduled for early next year, the programme will operate in US cities including Los Angeles, New York, Buffalo, Philadelphia and New Orleans.
In addition, the campaign will visit further cities and towns also home to universities including Indiana University, the University of Michigan and Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Rutgers, West Virginia and Tennessee.
“As sports betting takes off across many US 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 Martin Lycka, Entain senior vice president for American regulatory affairs and responsible gambling, and trustee of the Entain Foundation US.
“The Oak Out Hunger campaign is truly unique – and effective – in providing essential services to impoverished and underprivileged urban communities across the US, The Oakley Foundation is an ideal partner to help us reach those in most need with education on responsible gambling.”
Lauded as a “first-of-its-kind” non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting responsible gambling, sports integrity and corporate compliance in the US, the foundation was launched in 2019 by the Entain Global Foundation and Entain Group.