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Underdog Fantasy Reveals First ‘GuardDog’ Grant Winner

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Underdog Fantasy, which is poised to debut its online sports betting app on March 11 in North Carolina, announced Monday that is had selected the first recipient for a grant from the company’s responsible gambling innovation fund, GuardDog.

The grant recipient, idPair, “creates a centralized view of an individual’s play and gambling activity across all applications and operators in a jurisdiction for regulators,” according to an Underdog press release. That view would allow regulators to see what a consumer is doing on multiple platforms, rather than just allowing each operator to track a player’s spending, habits or time on an individual platform.

IdPair is already in use in some jurisdictions and is “bridging information gaps” among regulators, operators, and legislators. The technology allows for a more global view of a bettor’s habits, which in turn could result in quicker intervention if an issue is revealed.

“Most users play with more than one operator for their gaming activity,” Underdog Fantasy vice president for responsible gaming Adam Warrington said via press release. “The opportunity we see with idPair is the ability to connect people and their play and use those insights to inform enhanced responsible gaming initiatives. Operators can only focus on their individual platforms. We believe that the ability to partner with regulators using idPair’s technology will create opportunities for partnerships that advance safer play.”

Fund staked with $1 million

IdPair will have access to advisors, mentors, and investors through its partnership with Underdog Fantasy, and Underdog will “prioritize” the technology for integration into its own products. IdPair is also partnered with several major universities to study “anonymized transactional data by experts in the field.”

“By leveraging [Underdog’s] vast network and data, we can accelerate our mission to drive collaborative information sharing among operators and regulators, ultimately fostering a safer and more sustainable environment for all,” idPair CEO Jonathan Aiwazian said via press release.

Underdog Fantasy debuted its GuardDog program last October with the promise of staking it with $1 million to fund startups with a focus on responsible gambling. The company last month became the first operator in the fantasy and betting landscapes to throw its support behind the GRIT Act, which would earmark 50% of the current federal excise tax for problem and responsible gambling programs.

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Incidentally, March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

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