Entain’s journey into blockchain and the metaverse continued this week as the global operator initiated an NFT auction with a focus on social responsibility.
The FTSE100 firm’s Entain Foundation US organised the bidding contest for a new NFT range dubbed ‘Superheroes of Responsible Gambling’, fronted by Entain partner and former NBA player Charles Oakley.
Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Charles Oakley Foundation, whilst Entain detailed that the project as a whole aims to address new ‘tech-savvy audiences’ contributing to the growth of sports betting.
“These NFTs are a creative and fun way to promote the very serious message of Responsible Gambling to all audiences,” said Martyn Lycka, Entain Senior Vice President for North American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling.
Lycka, who is also featured as one of the characters, added that the NFT range had been developed ‘’using methods, tools and programming that are attuned to today’s technology and communications’.
The remaining NFTs feature Bo Grey, Founder of Wager Score; Brianne Doura-Schawohl, international responsible gambling consultant; and Bill Pascrell III, Esq, Partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group.
Two prominent third parties in the development of the series are Enlighting Media, which designed the digital assets, and Wager Score, an online player protection service which provides ‘real-time affordability data’ and contributions to designated charities’.
By harnessing the ‘novel, creative, and head-turning’ digital collectibles, Entain intends to promote the ‘themes of the Responsible Gambling Movement’ in the US, having launched its first NFT series in June showcasing the ‘nine markers of disordered gambling’.
Commenting on Entain’s latest foray into the sector, Oakley remarked: “My post-NBA work is focused on preventing problems among underserved groups. This is one way to reach people where they are, using tools that they use, to provide a positive message about responsible gambling.”
Entain first announced its intention to explore opportunities in the emerging NFT marketplace back in January with the launch of its Ennovate innovation platform.
A UK-founded operator, headquartered in the Isle of Man, Entain is active in the US via its partnership with MGM – jointly-operating the BetMGM sportsbook – as well as the Entain Foundation.
As well as looking into the use of NFTs, it was also revealed that Ennovate would evaluate Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality tech, backed by £100m in funding, £40m of which would be directed towards UK initiatives.