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Problem Gambling Awareness Month begins

For EPIC Risk Management, Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) is very much business as usual – we continue our work to prevent gambling from harming people and organizations via education, training, advice, and consultancy.

Problem Gambling Awareness Month (PGAM) in 2022 provides a platform to highlight the issue of problem gambling. Gambling is now omnipresent in the USA, only two states (Hawaii and Utah) prohibit gambling in any form, and although our stance is that many can enjoy gambling without it ever becoming problematic, we feel that the need for educating at-risk groups as well as the wider population regarding this issue is as pertinent than ever.

Problem gambling is defined as all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family, or vocational pursuits. Approximately 2 million U.S. adults (1% of the population) are estimated to meet the criteria for severe problem gambling. Another 4-6 million (2-3%) meet the criteria for mild or moderate problem gambling. (NCPG).

Throughout PGAM 2022, EPIC will maintain our work with the highest risk sectors for gambling harm, sectors that include professional sports, education, financial services, and military personnel. As with every PGAM, we welcome the extra focus and energy this awareness month brings to an issue in which our organization’s overarching aim is to be looking to ultimately eradicate.

Problem gambling is a public health issue affecting millions of Americans of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds. This public health problem has a significant societal and economic cost for individuals, families, businesses, and communities.

Since PGAM 2021 we have seen an explosion of gambling – in particular sports wagering. For context, earlier this year, The American Gambling Association (AGA) revealed that the US commercial gaming industry made $53.0bn in revenue in 2021, an increase of $23.0bn from 2020. This has broken the previous record of $43.65bn set in 2019 by 21.4% and is a 76.6% increase on commercial revenue generated during 2020.

EPIC Risk Management CEO, Paul Buck, explains: “EPIC has built a reputation as a global leader in gambling-harm prevention, having worked across 23 countries delivering industry-leading education and awareness provisions in reducing gambling-related harm. We continue to be committed to discussing issues around harm prevention, player protection, destigmatizing issues around problem gambling and we will continue to reiterate the importance of education and awareness.

“Using the experience EPIC have acquired working with the likes of the NCAA, NFLPA, Entain Foundation US, and many other organizations in the US, we will be engaging with PGAM throughout March to discuss how organizations should consider how problem gambling can adversely affecting their performance and what measures they should be taking to mitigate such risks and how a duty of care for their people should be constant theme to any considerations they take.”

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