Entain expands safer gambling remit to include video gaming and esports

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Global sports betting and gaming entertainment firm Entain has extended its initiatives in responsible gambling to include new areas comprising video-gaming and esports. The move, it said, is in line with its commitment to raise both the quality of entertainment and protections to customers worldwide.

The new partners include the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association, Kindbridge, and Rise Above the Disorder, and there will be an expanded partnership with EPIC Risk Management. Each organization seeks to bridge the gap between demand and availability of affordable professional, individual therapy and care 

They will provide mental health support services and education for players potentially at risk and will work internationally with the company and Entain Foundation, its non-profit charity dedicated to promoting responsible gambling, sports integrity, and corporate compliance.

Counter-Strike Professional Players Association is the worldwide association for professional players of the largely popular Counter-Strike video game, which regularly features in esports events.

EPIC Risk Management, an international consultancy specializing in prevention of gambling-related harm, already works with Entain both internationally and in the US and will now be extending its activity further, also to address video gaming and esports.

Rise Above the Disorder is a non-profit organization based in the US dedicated to helping people suffering from disorders connected to video gaming. Originally known as Anxiety Gaming, Rise Above the Disorder provides gamers with access to affordable, grant-based mental health services.

Kindbridge is the world’s first teletherapy company focused specifically on the successful treatment of gamblers and gamers struggling with their mental health. The US-based mental health services organization provides access to online professional mental health counselors and specialized support services.

Martin Lycka, Entain Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling and Trustee of the Entain Foundation US, explained: “We are committed to supporting initiatives that encourage responsible gambling and gaming in every way we can. 

“The vast majority of people who enjoy playing for fun have no problems whatsoever, and we want to leverage our capabilities to offer them additional experiences whilst keeping all our customers safe. 

“These new partnerships are initial steps in this and other new directions as we both expand our offer to customers and the protections we put in place to protect the very small number who may be at risk.”  

Entain said that today’s announcement supports its planned expansion into video-gaming and esports alongside furthering its commitment to responsible gaming. The firm recently unveiled its Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) initiative, pioneering use of data science, behavioral analysis, and technology to develop protective and preventative measures that work in real time. 

Late last year the group appointed Dr Mark Griffiths as Distinguished Professor of Behavioral Addiction and Psychology, a title he also holds at Nottingham Trent University. Griffiths is advising Entain on triggers for problems with online play and addiction, which is supporting the ongoing development of ARC.