EPIC Risk Management has released a report this week, examining the effects of gambling in sports organizations.
Following up on its recent partnership with the NCAA to provide gambling harm reduction programs to its members, the article dives into the topics of the gambling infrastructure in the US, the effects gambling has on sports as a whole, and the future of gambling harm reduction.
Among the main reasons why EPIC has looked into the subject of gambling within sports organizations is the statistic that “athletes are four times more likely to develop problem gambling habits”. Moreover, it said, despite gambling’s US expansion, many states are “sorely lagging behind” when it comes to having safeguards in place to protect people from gambling addiction.
EPIC has examined the lack of infrastructure and resources to deal with gambling addiction, noting in its report that state and organizational resources to combat problem gambling and its effects are significantly underfunded compared to other issues.
The study has also found that while states consider the benefits from legalizing sports betting, damage can be done to the very communities they’re trying to improve.
“Policy makers and gaming industry stakeholders need to work together now to put resources in place for dealing with the fallout from problem gambling,” the report stated.
EPIC also noted in its report how it is important to have “the right safety nets in place and to educate people about the risks and repercussions of problem gambling disorders”, especially since it’s been a few years since the US Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018.
The report explained that athletes are at a higher risk of developing some form of gambling addiction due to the “symbiotic nature of the sports and gaming industries, but also due to the mindset athletes must have in order to become successful in their sport”.
EPIC believes that through gambling harm education and partnerships like its own with the NCAA, a safe and fair gaming environment can be created.
“Educating and training the public, athletes, and gaming industry stakeholders can help prevent problem gambling from happening in the first place.
“Beginning with educating and informing the most vulnerable groups—youth, college students, and athletes—the US can cultivate generations that understand gambling as they understand alcohol: it’s something that – for the majority – is generally safe in moderation, but can have terrible consequences when abused.
“Additionally, when problem gambling both shares that gravitas and is openly discussed, it opens the door for people to seek resources and help earlier.”
Read the full report HERE