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Retired NBA Legend Charles Oakley Rolls into NYC for Oak Out Hunger initiative

Retired NBA Legend Charles Oakley encourages responsible sports betting as National Problem Gambling Awareness month gets underway

NEW YORK, March 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Former NBA All-Star Charles Oakley's "Oak Out Hunger" community project rolls into New York this week with the goal of providing food and education to underprivileged communities and raising awareness about the need for a socially responsible approach to sports betting.

As National Problem Gambling Awareness month gets underway, a coalition of nonprofits – The Charles Oakley Foundation , and Entain Foundation US – will supply food, fun and fandom to New York's largest soup kitchen on Friday, March 11th. Media are encouraged and invited to attend.

"Even though it feels as if the worst of the pandemic is behind us, we are still seeing record numbers of New Yorkers visiting us for a hot meal or a week's worth of groceries," says he Reverend Dr. Anna S. Pearson, the Executive Director of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in New York City.  "We are incredibly grateful to these foundations for selecting our program as a site for the 2022 "Oak Out Hunger" campaign, and for all the generous individuals like Charles Oakley who allow us to continue our essential work."

This week alone, Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen expects to distribute over 60,000 meals – a 634% increase compared to the same time of year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oakley has worked hand-in-hand with New York-based nonprofits for many years. A lifelong home cook who is known to whip up a giant family meal, Oak has spent much of his post-NBA career bringing his culinary prowess to homeless shelters and veterans' organizations nationwide.

In 2020, the Charles Oakley Foundation launched the Oak Out Hunger initiative, which has provided thousands of meals and other social services to impoverished families in many major American cities.

"We're asking folks to Bet Smart and Give Back," Oakley said. "My Wager Score ™ is the future of sports betting because it creates financial safety for players and helps create positive impact. We want folks to see that they can take fair play into their own hands and be empowered by getting their score at MyWagerScore.com."

The Oak Out Hunger tour is sponsored by Entain Foundation US and Wager Score. This year, the Oak Out Hunger tour is raising awareness for new Gamble Responsibly America (GRA), backed by Entain Foundation US, which earlier this month debuted a comprehensive update app that educates users on safe gambling habits. The app is augmented by the Wager Score ® , an affordability tool that protects the financial health of players and rewards responsible gambling by converting 1% of every dollar bet into charitable tax-deductible contributions for social causes. GRA was launched by Entain Foundation U.S., EPIC Risk Management and RG24/7 in June 2021, while Wager Score® is a startup technology company.

"I'm beyond delighted that Charles Oakley has chosen to be the guardian of responsible gamblers. The only path to long-term commercial sustainability of the nascent U.S. sports betting industry is through a commitment to sustainable gambling," says Martin Lycka, Senior Vice President of American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gaming at Entain and a trustee of Entain Foundation US . " The Gamble Responsibly America app and My Wager Score are key tools that help ensure a marketplace populated by happy, healthy customers."

While research indicates that most adults who choose to gamble can do so responsibly— poverty, racism, and other forms of social inequalities affect sports bettors' vulnerability to and capacity for dealing with problem gambling. As legal sports betting spreads throughout the country, with legalization in 30 states, including 18 that allow sports wagering, the amount of time spent gaming online dramatically increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Explosive industry growth in a race to attract 100 million Americans who can place a legal wager where they live has made this month's National Problem Gambling Awareness Month ever-more important. With roughly $7.61 billion bet on the NFL championship by an estimated 31 million fans according to the American Gaming Association, Entertain and the Wager Score are unique in their socially responsible approach in the growing industry.

"Responsible gambling education - or 'sustainable gambling,' as I think of it - is crucial to ensuring the well-being of gamblers and the survival of the industry itself," said Bill Pascrell, III, Trustee for Entain Foundation U.S. and a global gambling expert. "The importance of this initiative and other responsible gambling programs like it cannot be overstated."

#OakOutHunger Tour Schedule

March 2nd: GRA App is released
March 11th: Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
March 25th: Philadelphia, PA Lutheran Settlement House
April 1st: Nashville, TN: Room in the Inn

About Charles Oakley and The Charles Oakley Foundation
Oakley, known by legions of NBA fans as "The Last Enforcer," played power forward for 19 seasons (1985-2004) in the NBA including 10 seasons with the New York Knicks (1988-98) where he was named an NBA all-star in 1994. A lifelong home cook who is known to whip up a giant family meal, Oak has spent much of his post-NBA career bringing his culinary prowess to homeless shelters and veterans' organizations nationwide.

Oakley is on a mission to raise awareness about the financial protection tool My Wager Score. ™

The Charles Oakley Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to giving back. In 2020, the foundation launched the Oak Out Hunger campaign, which has provided thousands of meals and other social services to impoverished families in such cities as Cleveland (Oakley's hometown), New York, Los Angeles, and other major American cities. To contact the Charles Oakley Foundation email Jeane Holley: jeane@charlesoakleyfoundation.org.

About the Wager Score®
My Wager Score™ is a patented technology designed to protect sports bettors' financial health and minimize the risk of harmful play through the delivery of real-time affordability data. My Wager Score™ puts responsible gaming in the hands of bettors who unlock access to the financial empowerment tool that also converts 1% of every dollar bet on gaming partner sites into charitable, tax-deductible donations. The first of its kind technology has caught the attention of policymakers and the next generation of increasingly diverse bettors who look to create a more equitable, socially responsible industry.

About the Entain Foundation U.S.
The Entain Foundation U.S. is a first-of-its-kind non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible gambling, sports integrity and corporate compliance in the U.S. The Foundation was launched in 2019 by the Entain Global Foundation and the Entain Group. Trustees of the im Entain Foundation US include Entain's Martin Lycka, former New York Giants wide receiver and Super Bowl Champion Amani Toomer and international gambling regulatory expert Bill Pascrell III, a partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group. https://entainfoundation-us.com/

About Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen
Founded in 1982, the mission of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen is to feed the hungry, comfort the afflicted, seek justice for people experiencing homelessness, and provide hope and opportunity to those in need. It is the largest soup kitchen in New York, serving 1,000 hot meals to New Yorkers in need every weekday, many of whom are living on the streets or in emergency shelters. The organization has never missed a meal service in its 39-year history, including in the aftermath of a devastating parish fire in 1990, during the power outage and city-wide havoc caused by Hurricane Sandy, after the tragic September 11th terrorist attacks, and even during the global COVID-19 health pandemic. In addition to meals, guests have access to social services and workshops that help them navigate toward improved health, housing, and jobs.

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