Responsible Gaming Research Receives $250K Donation from Wondr Nation


Posted on: October 3, 2023, 04:29h. 

Last updated on: October 3, 2023, 04:29h.

Wondr Nation, the digital gaming unit of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, has made a significant donation to support responsible gaming research at the University of Connecticut. This donation will help further the understanding of responsible gaming practices and promote non-problematic play.

Wondr Nation Foxwoods responsible gaming UConn
Wondr Nation, the online gaming entity of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is donating $250,000 to the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine to fund responsible gaming research. The Mashantucket’s primary economic engine is its Foxwoods Resort Casino. (Image: University of Connecticut)

Wondr Nation, a subsidiary of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, has made a generous donation of $250,000 to the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine. The funding will support research into responsible gaming best practices, aiming to enhance player safety and reduce problematic behaviors.

Foxwoods, one of the largest tribal casinos in the US, has partnered with DraftKings to manage its online and in-person sports betting operations. Wondr Nation, as an online gaming entertainment company, strives to provide exciting experiences to players with the help of leading gaming platforms and emerging technologies.

Wondr Nation operates Foxwoods’ popular free-to-play social casino, FoxwoodsONLINE, and is working in collaboration with DraftKings on the co-branded Foxwoods iGaming and sportsbook product in Connecticut. Additionally, Wondr Nation and DraftKings are planning to launch sports betting operations at the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino in Puerto Rico.

Focus on Non-Problem Play

Due to its status as a successful tribal casino, Foxwoods believes it has a responsibility to promote responsible play. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has a long history of funding responsible gaming programs and has extended this commitment to its subsidiary, Wondr Nation. In an effort to limit problem gambling through education and prevention, Wondr Nation announced a yearly donation of $300,000 to the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG) earlier this year.

Expanding on its efforts to promote responsible gaming, Wondr Nation has recently announced a $250,000 grant to the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine. This grant will be used to support research into responsible gaming best practices, with the goal of encouraging non-problematic play and reducing erratic behaviors.

The grant establishes the Wonder Nation Responsible and Sustainable Gaming Fund, which will focus on player safety and community development. Anika Howard, president and CEO of Wondr Nation, expressed her commitment to increasing player safety, supporting critical research, and investing in communities through this partnership with UConn researchers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Foxwoods made the decision to remain smoke-free. This measure, according to responsible gaming advocates, can help mitigate rates of problem gambling by requiring smokers to go outdoors to smoke.

Updated Protocols Needed

Carla Rash, an associate professor at the UConn School of Medicine, will oversee the utilization of the Wondr Nation donation. Rash believes that the rapid expansion of online sports betting and iGaming across the country calls for more research into responsible gaming practices. The focus will be on developing strategies to promote responsible gaming in online gaming environments.

“I am excited to work with Wondr Nation to examine the impact of rapid changes in the gaming landscape on our community and work toward enhancing responsible gaming strategies in online gaming environments,” Rash said.

Wondr Nation’s donation coincides with the American Gaming Association designating September as “Responsible Gaming Education Month.” This trade group represents both commercial and tribal gaming interests and advocates for responsible gaming practices.

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