EPIC Risk Management has continued its gambling harm awareness program this time stopping by the University of Michigan.
It comes as part of the gambling harm prevention consultancy’s deal with the NCAA to offer gambling education at nearly 80 campuses each year in association with the Entain Foundation.
In a two-day visit to the Great Lake state, which has hosted legalized online gambling since 2021, EPIC’s Head of Delivery, Mark Potter, told around 170 students and staff members about his experience of gambling harms as a pro athlete.
“I think it’s becoming more and more important and something that’s going to continue to be at the forefront of every administrator’s mind,” explained Danielle Davison, Assistant Athletic Director of NCAA Rules and NIL Education at the University of Michigan.
“With the growing popularity of sports betting and the legalization across different states and the access to student-athletes these days, it’s definitely been a key component of our educational efforts.
“Ultimately we want to protect the integrity of the sport. We can educate student-athletes on the reasons why we want to protect the integrity and also protect them as people, as we don’t want them to get into a problem gambling relationship.”
EPIC, with support from the Entain Foundation, visits 75 campuses each year to share experiences and teach students about the risks involved with gambling.
The UK-based consultancy firm has an elevated US presence via its deal with the NFLPA’s Professional Athletes Foundations and the MLS Players’ Association to ensure that athletes are aware of the risks around gambling.
Potter, who delivered the speech to UoM students, commented: “We’re delighted to come to Michigan to provide education for the student-athletes and make sure they’re equipped to deal with all of the risks that can come their way in the coming years.
“We cover how and why athletes are more likely statistically to suffer from gambling-related harm than the general population and the reasons behind that – competitive nature, sporting knowledge, injury, escapism, buzz replication… all of the reasons why athletes are statistically and evidentially more likely to suffer from harm.
“We also cover the impacts of sports betting integrity and the obvious links between the two, and the other knock-on impacts such as social media abuse and where to identify harm in colleagues and teammates, but also where to access support should they need that.”
EPIC also has direct relationships with sporting organizations as it seeks to be the eminent provider of gambling harm awareness education. It has worked with Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, and Manchester City FC as well as the aforementioned player associations in the US.
Paul Buck, CEO of EPIC Risk Management, added: “We partner with Entain Foundation US, who have proactively provided funding to ensure that we can come face-to-face to colleges such as the University of Michigan as part of the 75 colleges that we visit throughout the country each year.
“Fundamentally, that funding is important. This kind of education is better face-to-face than it is digitally. For them to be able to provide that funding for our team creates a really ground-breaking program.”