The Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) has announced a three-year partnership agreement with EPIC Risk Management and Entain Foundation US with a focus on promoting problem awareness.
All parties involved in the partnership will work on gambling awareness educational programmes and advisory resources, including workshops, prevention resources amongst a range of other activities.
“This partnership with EPIC Risk Management and Entain Foundation US will enhance our ability to educate and equip our player pool as the presence and inherent risks of sports betting continue to evolve and permeate players’ lives,” stated MLSPA COO, Dan Jones.
“We look forward to working alongside them to ensure players have access to crucial education, resources and support.”
Through a partnership with the Entain Foundation US, Entain plc’s non-profit subsidiary, the program and associated resources will be made available to all 29 teams – 26 in the US and three in Canada – which will expand to 30 teams for the 2025 season.
The firm highlighted the importance of covering ‘such pertinent issues as gambling harm prevention, problem gaming, and sports integrity’.
Ben McGregor, Director of Sports Partnerships at EPIC Risk Management, said: “We are looking forward to working with the MLSPA and its membership in delivering this national program to provide crucial education and advice regarding the ever-growing relationship between wagering and professional sports in the US.”
“The players, staff and MLS in general have a global reach and will therefore be subject to considerable sports wagering attention around the world.
“This program is intended to provide MLSPA members with informed understanding to minimise the risk of sporting integrity issues that can arise from gambling activities, as well as utilising our considerable lived experience from facilitators who have elite sports backgrounds, who can also advise on the effects that gambling-related harm can have on an individual’s performance and welfare.
“This is an important new step in our relationship with the Major Leagues in the US and we’re delighted to extend upon our existing soccer partnerships around the world by working with the MLSPA, leading players and teams from the MLS.”
Last year, EPIC Risk Management and Entain Foundation US also announced a program with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), continuing to work with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) through experience in the MLS via their work with Chicago Fire FC.