PrizePicks Prioritizes Responsible Gaming With New Hire

Written By Dan Holmes on April 24, 2024
Person reaching out for handshake, signifying PrizePicks hiring a head of responsible gambling

Atlanta-based PrizePicks, one of the leading daily fantasy sports platforms in the US, has hired its first senior-level responsible gaming officer.

DFS operators like PrizePicks are feeling the pressure to address problem gambling as sports betting and DFS take off across the country.

Phil Sherwood comes to PrizePicks from the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health. While there, he led a project that resulted in a self-exclusion program that has served as a model for states launching sports betting. He’s also served on the board of directors for the National Council on Problem Gambling since 2022.

PrizePicks also hires new head of human resources

Besides hiring its first responsible gaming leader this week, PrizePicks also hired Renee White as its chief people officer. White has more than two decades of human resources experience. She comes to PrizePicks from Warner Bros. Discovery, where she served as the vice president, head of people & culture in their Atlanta offices.

PrizePicks said White will “help lead the company through its next phase of growth and expansion.”

Earlier this month, PrizePicks announced its plans to upgrade and expand its headquarters in Atlanta. Currently, roughly a third of its 500 employees work full-time for the company. PrizePicks plans to hire as many as 1,000 more employees over the next seven years.

Responsible gaming key issue facing DFS and gaming operators

The addition of Sherwood signals a commitment from PrizePicks to its responsible gambling efforts. It also keeps the company in step with its competitors.

Earlier this week, DraftKings announced the hiring of Lori Kalani as chief responsible gaming officer. Kalani is the first person hired at DraftKings to oversee responsible gambling.

The timing of Sherwood’s hire by PrizePicks may be coincidental, but, notably, it comes only two days after DraftKings hired Kalani. Both companies and their competitors in the daily fantasy sports and sports betting markets are under pressure to promote responsible gambling.

Nearly 40 states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized sports betting since the historic decision by the US Supreme Court in 2018 cleared the way. As sports betting, especially mobile, has proliferated, consumers have reacted with eagerness. That has resulted in a drastic rise in gambling problems.

To combat it, some states have revised their rules on advertisements. There have also been calls for states to ban prop bets on college athletes from both the NCAA and lawmakers. The Jontay Porter NBA betting scandal and the Shohei Ohtani-related MLB scandal have also brought the issue of responsible gambling to the forefront.

Despite fewer gambling options compared to most US states, Georgia does make responsible gambling a priority by offering several ways for Georgians to seek help. For example, the Georgia Lottery offers a self-exclusion program, and the Georgia Council on Problem Gambling has a 24-hour helpline (800-522-4700).

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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayGeorgia with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio, Massachusetts and Maryland. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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