The latest instalment of the Martin Lycka Safe Bet Show featured Adam Warrington, Vice President of Responsible Gaming at Underdog Sports.

In the podcast, Warrington discussed his time at Michigan State, the lessons he learned leading responsible drinking campaigns at Anheuser-Busch and finished by talking about his work at FanDuel and Underdog Sports.

Responsible Drinking vs Responsible Gambling

After discussing what Warrington learned while studying at Michigan State, and reminiscing on the life and times of NFL and film star Bubba Smith, Warrington discussed his time working for Anheuser-Busch who produce Budweiser.

Warrington explained how he helped spearhead the ‘Drink Wiser’ campaign that encouraged drinkers to plan a safe ride home and not drink drive, as well as the emergency drinking water programme which saw the brewery can fresh drinking water for use in emergencies.

Lycka then asked Warrington what he thought the differences were between problem drinking and problem gambling.

He said: “I think in terms of pushing social norms and evolving the conversation around these two topics. responsible drinking has a large head start in our country. 40 years ago, we might make fun of irresponsible drinking in the way that now mainstream media sometimes can make fun of irresponsible gambling. 

“The understanding isn’t there. We need to evolve the dialogue between operators, regulators and the general public on what Responsible Gambling looks like, how friends and family can intervene and of course, more importantly resources available to anyone who might want help to talk to someone who’s an expert about their gambling.”

He also talked about how in the alcohol industry brewers are only one step in the chain from production to consumption and therefore do not have data on how many drinks someone is having. On the other hand, gaming companies can collate far more data on consumers’ gambling habits which can be used to shape responsible gambling efforts.

 FanDuel Ambassador program 

The pair then moved on to discuss Warrington’s more recent roles. He spent just under two years at FanDuel as VP of Responsible Gaming before moving on to work in his current role at Underdog Sports.

While at Fanduel, he helped to develop the company’s Responsible Gaming Ambassador Program and Lycka asked Warrington to expand on what makes a successful ambassador for responsible gaming.

He said that two types of ambassadors work. The first would be someone who has lived experience of the problem and the second would be a “prominent leader” in their sport that can convey a message that will resonate with consumers.

Touching more on the first point, he highlighted FanDuel’s work with broadcaster Craig Carton who has had widely publicised issues with problem gambling.

He added: “Craig has been very open about his issues with problem gambling, that he’s an addict and wants others to learn from his story. Problem Gambling, as you and I both very well know Martin, can impact anybody, it doesn’t matter whatever your status may be. Lived experience has an authenticity that is second to none.”

Underdog’s responsible gambling fund

Warrington has been at Underdog for the last nine months and Lycka asked him about the responsible gaming strategy of the daily fantasy sports group.

Last year, the firm launched a new $1 million investment fund called GuardDog to support start-ups that are focusing on new solutions to address problem gambling.

Talking about the fund, Warrington said: “We need more technology to implement into our platforms to detect consumers who might be having issues to intervene with those consumers and if they need assistance for treatments to help them on a treatment path as well. 

“And we’re really wanting to help fund startups to focus on R&D technologies to help implement them both into Underdogs platform [and] anyone in this space because responsible gaming at the end of the day is always going to be collaborative.”


Before concluding the episode, Lycka questioned Warrington about Underdog’s support of the controversial GRIT Act, which proposes applying funds generated by the federal excise tax on sports betting to problem gambling funding.

Underdog became the first operator to publicly support the act, which has met criticism from the American Gaming Association and Congresswoman Dina Titus.

“There are currently no federal funds allocated for problem gambling. And I’m proud to say Underdog supports directing existing tax dollars as this industry grows in the United States. We need protected federal dollars to aid research, prevention and treatment,” explained Warrington.

Safe Bet Show: Underdog’s Adam Warrington on learning from the alcohol industry, FanDuel and the GuardDog fund