US – EPIC Risk Management and Entain Foundation US to educate MLS Players Association members on risks of gambling harmBy Phil - 29 June 2023
EPIC Risk Management and Entain Foundation US has announced a three-year partnership with the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) to provide gambling awareness educational programs and advisory resources to its members.
EPIC Risk Management and Entain Foundation US are excited to partner with the MLSPA, the exclusive collective bargaining representative for all players in Major League Soccer, to provide customized gambling harm education and awareness programs and advisory resources across a three-year program.
The program will see EPIC deliver gambling harm prevention education and awareness workshops, and provide prevention resources, advisory resources, and content which will be made available to the entire MLSPA membership, all made possible through funding provided by Entain Foundation US.
“We are looking forward to working with the MLSPA and its membership in delivering this national program to provide crucial education and advice regarding the ever-growing relationship between wagering and professional sports in the US.” said Ben McGregor, director of sports partnerships at EPIC Risk Management.
“The players, staff and MLS in general have a global reach and will therefore be subject to considerable sports wagering attention around the world. This program is intended to provide MLSPA members with informed understanding to minimize the risk of sporting integrity issues that can arise from gambling activities, as well as utilizing our considerable lived experience from facilitators who have elite sports backgrounds, who can also advise on the effects that gambling-related harm can have on an individual’s performance and welfare.
“This is an important new step in our relationship with the Major Leagues in the U.S. and we’re delighted to extend upon our existing soccer partnerships around the world by working with the MLSPA, leading players and teams from the MLS.”
“This partnership with EPIC Risk Management and Entain Foundation U.S will enhance our ability to educate and equip our player pool as the presence and inherent risks of sports betting continue to evolve and permeate players’ lives,” said MLSPA COO Dan Jones.
“We look forward to working alongside them to ensure players have access to crucial education, resources and support.”
Entain Foundation U.S., launched in 2019 by the Entain Global Foundation and the Entain Group, sponsors a variety of information and education programs on problem gambling throughout the United States. Its trustees include Martin Lycka, Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling and Trustee of Entain Foundation U.S.; Bill Pascrell, III, Partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group; and Amani Toomer, former New York Giants wide receiver and Super Bowl Champion.
“Given the significant ongoing rise in the popularity of sports betting throughout the country, the importance of educating athletes and the public at large cannot be overstated,” said Lycka.
“We are glad that the funding provided by Entain Foundation U.S. has helped EPIC, a global leader in the delivery of problem gambling education, to have such a huge impact on one of the highest-risk populations.”
EPIC Risk Management delivers ground-breaking harm minimization programs, independently accredited training, and class-leading advisory to help individuals and organizations across the sports wagering ecosystem to minimize the risks posed by gambling harm.
Through a partnership with the Entain Foundation US, Entain plc’s unique non-profit subsidiary that is dedicated to promoting responsible gambling and sports integrity in the United States, the program and associated resources will be made available to all 29 teams—26 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada— in the MLS, which will expand to 30 teams for the 2025 season, to cover such pertinent issues as gambling harm prevention, problem gaming, and sports integrity.
In 2022, Entain Foundation U.S. and EPIC Risk Management announced a landmark program with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). They continue to work with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and have experience in Major League Soccer through their work with Chicago Fire FC.
Since its inception in 2013, EPIC has also worked with the likes of Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Manchester City FC, all 72 English Football League (EFL) clubs, the Belgian Jupiler League, and the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA), and Professional Cricketer’s Association (PCA), positioning itself a market leader in providing impactful gambling harm awareness education in professional sport globally.