The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and EPIC Risk Management have reported significant progress in delivering their player protection programme against gambling harms.

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

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

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

“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,” Wilcox continued.

In total, the programme has seen EPIC Risk Management conduct 158 face-to-face education sessions across 46 colleges in 22 states across the country, having reached up to 8,000 NCAA collegiate athletes and staff.

“We are delighted to be able to work closely with colleges around the nation on this essential education and awareness programme,” added 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.”

In detail, the firm delivers 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.

Martin Lycka, Entain plc’s Senior VP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling and Trustee of Entain Foundation US, noted: “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.

“We are glad that the funding provided by Entain Foundation US 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.”

Reports have revealed that in the last year alone, the number of colleges and universities launching formal workshops and training programmes on gambling harm has grown more than 30%, with more schools in discussions for their own programme later this year.

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