Global sports betting and gaming group GVC has bolstered its corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts with the launch of a new initiative this week, the GVC Foundation. The new function will be used to coordinate and support the firm’s CSR initiatives, objectives and donations around the world.

The Foundation initially focuses on four key areas comprising responsible gambling, sports integrity and gambling regulation research, education and treatment; grass roots, women’s and disability sport; men’s health, with a particular focus on mental health; and projects with a clear link to the local community in GVC’s major office locations.

Specific to the US, the Foundation has become a Bronze Donor to the Fund to Support Research on Sports Wagering, which was recently launched by the US National Center for Responsible Gaming. The objective of this project, which is the first of its kind in the States, is to competitively award researchers at top tier institutions with the resources needed to uncover novel insights into what the introduction of legalized, regulated sports betting means for public health.

It will also administer GVC’s existing CSR projects, including its $2.5m community fund as well as GVC’s collaborations with the US National Council on Problem Gambling, SportsAid, EPIC Risk Management, Gordon Moody and the Division on Addiction of Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

Commenting on the launch, Virginia McDowell, Chair of the firm’s CSR Committee said: “GVC is determined to spearhead the gambling industry’s approach to CSR initiatives, particularly with regard to responsible gambling and sports integrity-related projects. The launch of The GVC Foundation is a clear sign of this commitment, consolidating GVC’s hard work in this area over the last few years.”

Martin Lycka, Director of Regulatory Affairs and a Trustee of The GVC Foundation, added: “We are delighted to have partnered with sports clubs, gambling researchers and athletes in a number of our key jurisdictions, including Germany, the UK, Italy and the US. The range of the new initiatives that we are announcing today, and the quality of the partnerships that we have entered, is a great endorsement of our overall CSR strategy, and there is plenty more to come.”