EPIC Risk Management delivers player protection program to 8,000 NCAA athletes & staff

EPIC Risk Management and the NCAA have highlighted the progress being made with its player protection program.
Image: Zach Chew/Shutterstock

EPIC Risk Management and the NCAA have highlighted the progress being made with its player protection program.

Funded by Entain Foundation US, the program allows EPIC Risk Management to deliver awareness of gambling risks and potential harm to student-athletes at colleges and universities across the country in all three NCAA divisions.

With sports betting legalized in more than 30 states, the independent gambling harm minimization consultancy is providing customized education and awareness player protection program to student-athletes, coaches, game officials, healthcare personnel, and support personnel, educating them on gambling and sports wagering integrity risks.

The program – which includes live, in-person educational workshops and seminars, pre-recorded sessions, and on-demand virtual resources – has reached up to 8,000 NCAA collegiate athletes and staff, with 158 face-to-face education sessions across 46 colleges in 22 states.

“We are pleased that this collaboration has reached so many student-athletes,” commented NCAA Executive Vice President for Regulatory Affairs, Stan Wilcox

“The risks associated with sports wagering are abundant, and the education provided by EPIC Risk Management is invaluable for student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and officials. We appreciate the teamwork to help protect the integrity of college sports and the well-being of everyone involved.”

Including the program from the NCAA and EPIC Risk Management, Entain Foundation has pledged to invest $132m in responsible gambling initiatives globally over the next five years.

“Entain Foundation US is proud to support EPIC Risk Management on the face-to-face delivery of problem gambling awareness and player protection workshops to NCAA college athletes across the country,” remarked Martin Lycka, Entain’s SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling and Trustee of Entain Foundation US.

“We are glad that the funding provided by Entain Foundation US has helped EPIC, the global leaders in the delivery of problem gambling education, to have such a huge impact on one of the highest-risk populations.”

Alongside the continued progress with the NCAA, EPIC Risk Management has also recently bolstered its directors’ team, appointing Danielle Smith as its new Director of Operations.

“We are delighted to be able to work closely with colleges around the nation on this essential education and awareness program,” noted John Millington, Senior Director with EPIC Risk Management.

“There is a collective responsibility to ensure the minimization of potential gambling harms, and the promotion of player safety. Our collaboration with Entain Foundation US represents a key strategic piece of our prevention pillar, and it is great that so many organizations are recognizing the importance of education and awareness for this potentially high-risk population.”

In the past year, the number of colleges and universities launching formal gambling harm workshops and training programs has grown by more than 30% and more schools are in discussions about starting programs.

Since its initial launch, Entain Foundation US and EPIC Risk Management have extended their educational campaign to more colleges and universities, including enabling sessions at the University of Maryland College Park (MD), Fordham University (NY), and Clemson University (SC).

“We enjoyed having EPIC Risk Management on campus during Problem Gambling Awareness Month,” stated Danielle Davison, Director of Compliance Services at Clemson University Athletics Department. 

“The personal stories really captured our audience of student-athletes and staff members and allowed them to understand some of the psychological connections between the highs associated with winning in athletics and a similar high experienced by problem gamblers.”

Shannon Raymond, Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance at Fordham University, added: “Fordham Athletics is excited to engage with EPIC Risk Management to educate our student-athletes around the dangers of problematic gambling and the ever-growing risk that sports betting brings to both student-athletes and institutions.”