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EPIC Risk Management continue gambling harm awareness program at University of Michigan

The wellbeing of student-athletes and the integrity of competitions were noted as two major benefits as EPIC Risk Management continued its gambling harm awareness program for colleges at the prestigious University of Michigan.

EPIC has worked with the NCAA to visit around 75 college campuses per year and educate thousands of student-athletes on the risks that can stem from newly-legalized sports wagering across most states and other forms of gambling.

Speaking to around 170 student-athletes and staff members across five sessions in a two-day visit to the University of Michigan, EPIC’s head of delivery Mark Potter shared his lived experience of gambling harm during his time in professional sport as a means of ensuring that the students – who are prohibited from participation in most sports wagering activities and from providing pertinent information to other individuals who wish to do so – were aware of the potential pitfalls of overlooking the regulations or choosing to gamble beyond their means post-college.

“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, NCAA rules and NIL education, at 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.”

“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,” explained Mark Potter, as he outlined the premise of the visit.

“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.”

Paul Buck, CEO of EPIC Risk Management, added his thanks to Entain Foundation US, Entain plc’s unique non-profit subsidiary that is dedicated to promoting responsible gambling and sports integrity in the United States, for helping the visit to come to fruition, explaining:

“We partner with Entain Foundation U.S., 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.”

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.

Alongside the ongoing delivery to the NCAA, the UK-founded organization continues to work with the NFLPA’s Professional Athletes Foundation (PAF), and has recently announced a partnership with the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) to provide education and awareness to its members throughout professional soccer in North America.

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 Pro League, 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.

Click here to watch a video review of the University of Michigan visit.

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