NCAA and EPIC Risk Management launch player protection programme

NCAA and EPIC Risk Management have delivered player protection programme which provides face to face education and awareness sessions to NCAA student-athletes.

Colleges and universities across the US in all three NCAA divisions are improving student-athletes’ awareness of gambling risks and potential harm as sports betting continues to be legalised in more than 30 states.

Thanks to funding provided by Entain Foundation US, EPIC Risk Management has provided a customised education and awareness player protection programme to student-athletes, coaches, game officials, health care personnel, and support personnel, educating them on the risks associated with gambling and sports wagering integrity.

EPIC Risk Management has been able to conduct 158 face-to-face education sessions across 46 colleges in 22 states across the US having reached up to 8,000 NCAA collegiate athletes and staff.

“We are pleased that this collaboration has reached so many student-athletes,” said NCAA executive vice president for regulatory affairs, Stan Wilcox.

“The risks associated with sports wagering are abundant, and the education provided by EPIC Risk Management is invaluable for student-athletes, coaches, administrators and officials. We appreciate the teamwork to help protect the integrity of college sports and the well-being of everyone involved.”

“Entain Foundation US is proud to support EPIC Risk Management on the face-to-face delivery of problem gambling awareness and player protection workshops to NCAA college-athletes across the country,” says Martin Lycka, Entain plc’s senior vice president for American regulatory affairs and responsible gambling and trustee of Entain Foundation US.

“We are glad that the funding provided by Entain Foundation U.S. has helped EPIC, the global leaders in delivery of problem gambling education, to have such a huge impact on one of the highest-risk populations.”

Globally, Entain Foundation has pledged to invest $132 million in responsible gambling initiatives over the next five years, including an investment in the face-to-face element of the NCAA educational programme facilitated by EPIC Risk Management.

“We are delighted to be able to work closely with colleges around the nation on this essential education and awareness programme,” said John Millington, senior director with EPIC Risk Management.

“There is a collective responsibility to ensure the minimisation of potential gambling harms, and the promotion of player safety. Our collaboration with Entain Foundation US represents a key strategic piece of our prevention pillar, and it is great that so many organisations are recognising the importance of education and awareness for this potentially high-risk population.”

EPIC Risk Management delivers ground-breaking harm minimisation programmes, safer gambling training, and class-leading advisory to help individuals and organisations across the highest risk sectors in the sports wagering ecosystem to minimise the risks posed by gambling harm.

Since March 2020, Entain Foundation US has funded projects facilitated by EPIC Risk Management to deliver harm minimisation and player protection education to professional and college athletes across the US. To date, 46 colleges in the US have taken part in the nationwide educational initiative, which includes live, in-person educational workshops and seminars, pre-recorded sessions, and on-demand virtual resources. This work will continue to run concurrently with the NCAA roll-out.

“We enjoyed having EPIC Risk Management on campus during Problem Gambling Awareness Month,” said Danielle Davison, director of compliance services at Clemson University Athletics Department.

“The personal stories really captured our audience of student-athletes and staff members and allowed them to understand some of the psychological connections between the highs associated with winning in athletics and a similar high experienced by problem gamblers.”

In just the last year, the number of colleges and universities launching formal workshops and training programmes on gambling harm has jumped more than 30 percent, with more schools in discussions for their own program later this year.

Entain Foundation U.S. and EPIC Risk Management have extended their educational campaign since its initial launch to more colleges and universities. They have facilitated sessions at a range of schools including the University of Maryland College Park (MD), Fordham University (NY) and Clemson University (SC).

“Fordham Athletics is excited to engage with EPIC Risk Management to educate our student-athletes around the dangers of problematic gambling and the ever-growing risk that sports betting brings to both student-athletes and institutions,” said Shannon Raymond, assistant athletic director for compliance at Fordham University.