EPIC Risk Management has committed to delivering education on the topic of problem gambling after agreeing to a new partnership with the Division on Addiction at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.
The duo will work together to research elite athletes’ relationships with problematic gambling behaviours, and will occur in parallel with GVC Holdings’ ongoing research partnership with the Division of Addiction to study GVC’s online and retail players to better understand how to minimise gambling-related harm.
The research programme will analyse the current state of gambling and gambling-related problems among professional athletes, the correlation between gambling and gambling-related problems as well as key gambling and gambling-related problem awareness, experience and actions.
As part of the research, the Division on Addiction will launch a survey which EPIC has committed to implementing via educational sessions across 14 locations in the US. The education programme will be fully funded by GVC Foundation US, which will provide $2.5 million in financing over the course of two years.
Paul Buck, CEO of EPIC Risk Management, said: “We are delighted to be working with Harvard Medical School on this groundbreaking programme with elite and up and coming athletes in the U.S.
“By working with elite sports across the U.K. and Europe we know that professional athletes are competitive and don’t like to lose, and this can lead to a higher propensity to gamble, and suffer gambling problems, than the general population.
“This program between EPIC and the GVC Foundation US will provide sector leading education and awareness to professional athletes across the leagues and the data collected in the sessions will be passed to Harvard for independent evaluation and research.”
Martin Lycka, Trustee of GVC Foundation US and Director of Regulatory Affairs for GVC Holdings, said: “GVC Foundation US is very pleased that the Division on Addiction of the Harvard Medical School has agreed to become the research partner to its groundbreaking educational program with EPIC Risk Management in the United States.
“Responsible gambling and sports integrity are weaved into the DNA of the sports betting industry – professional athletes are at the heart of the action and as a result need to be duly protected from the ills gambling may occasion. Gambling related education, based on scientific research, is absolutely key to achieving this objective.”
Division on Addiction Director of Research, Dr. Sarah Nelson said: “The Division is excited to begin work with EPIC Risk Management to examine gambling and risks for gambling harm in this potentially vulnerable population.”
“Proper research on responsible gambling and the relationship that professional athletes have with sports betting is sorely needed in the gambling industry. By addressing the key behaviors and experiences of athletes, we’ll be able to help sports betting grow in a safe, sustainable way that benefits everyone involved,” added Bill Pascrell, III, Trustee of GVC Foundation US and Partner at PPAG.