Online Gaming A Winning Hand For ACS

Online gambling platform Vegas World has joined with the American Cancer Society (ACS) to raise both cancer screening awareness and funds for its missions. While the campaign, which runs through the end of May, does not have preliminary donation figures, organizers are optimistic that it will beat the $120,000 raised in 2020.

If the effort reaches its goal, it will bring the total raised by Vegas World since it began hosting ACS messages in 2016 to nearly a half-million dollars. FlowPlay, which hosts Vegas World, had raised a total of $330,000 for the ACS through 2020. Funds are raised through both straight-up contributions and the sales of small digital charms for between $1 and $5.

There are other ways to contribute beyond buying charms. “Players are directed to donate through the American Cancer Society site if they wish to make an additional donation,” said ACS’s Director of Corporate Relations Amanda Torfi. Other messaging directs players to the organization’s screening information pages.

The link of Vegas World and the ACS is more than coincidental. Vegas World is run by gaming platform FlowPlay, and FlowPlay CEO Derrick Morton serves as chair of Pacific Northwest CEOs Against Cancer.

The money is welcome, but this year brings an additional urgency to the organization’s screening message. “Because of COVID, people delayed their regular screenings, their mammograms or colonoscopies. We are trying to incorporate that message into everything we do this year,” said Kari Dahlstrom, regional vice president for marketing and communications for the West Region of the ACS Kari Dahlstrom.

Vegas World is not the only online game the ACS uses to raise funds. The organization has had a presence on online world Second Life since 2009. That platform raised $95,000 for the ACS in 2021, up 15% from 2020, according to Dahlstrom. In Second Life, funds come in through in-game sales of virtual merchandise, game-based radio ads, sponsorships and straight-up donations.

Even if FlowPlay does not clear the $500,000 hurdle in total contributions with this campaign, it almost certainly will during 2021. The platform is hosting another fundraiser for the ACS in the fall.