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Winners at the 2024 SBC Awards North America

EPIC retain their title at SBC Awards North America

EPIC Risk Management retained the title of Player Protection Service Provider of the Year during a successful night at the SBC Awards North America in New York.

Hosted at the impressive New York Hotel Midtown, the awards ceremony was the crescendo of a busy week of activity that also included SBC’s Player Protection Symposium in Manhattan and the SBC Summit North America in New Jersey.

Having been represented at both preceding events – including hosting several discussion panels on safer gambling topics – it was a successful completion of a hat-trick for EPIC at the awards ceremony, with judges noting the company’s considerable impact on the US market in reaching its decision to present them with the title for the second time in as many years.

In awarding the Player Protection Service Provider of the Year accolade, the panel cited that EPIC are ‘renowned for education and awareness programmes’ and that ‘their efforts have helped shape the direction of future safer gambling policies and practices’.

EPIC Risk Management are particularly prevalent across the US thanks to their partnership with the NCAA, delivering gambling harm awareness and education to student-athletes, coaches and support staff to more than 1,000 institutions over the course of a five-year arrangement. An ever-growing presence across major league sport has also recently seen an extension to an ongoing partnership to support members of the NFL Players Association Professional Athletes Foundation, alongside an increasing portfolio of work with player associations and member clubs.

The company also works with major US operators to ensure that staff at all levels are familiar with the signs of gambling-related harm and able to offer adequate help and support to those encountering issues around wagering.

Reacting to the retention of the award, EPIC Risk Management CEO Paul Buck explained:

“Our work in the US is of vital importance, as it is one of the fastest-growing gambling markets in the world, therefore making the risk of related harm particularly pertinent throughout the country.

“To be recognised as we have, two years in a row, for trying to make a positive difference in this regard is very satisfying, and everyone at EPIC can be proud of what we continue to achieve.

“The judging panel noted the quality of our education and awareness provision, which is something that we are continually expanding, both in terms of the number of facilitators traveling across every state to share their story and the level of wider awareness we can deliver to American businesses and households via ongoing media outreach on the subject of gambling-related harm.

“We are also pleased that our desire to help shape the future of safer gambling policies and practices is being recognised, and trust that by continuing to work with like-minded organizations and policy makers, we can help deliver on our long-held desire for the US to be the safest gambling market in the world.”

EPIC also helped to influence the thinking of audiences during the SBC Summit North America and the curtain-raising Player Protection Symposium during a series of panels at both events.

During the Symposium, Paul Buck moderated a discussion on ‘The value of lived experience in preventing harm in sports’, which explored the benefits of lived experience education programs for the protection of all stakeholders in the sports ecosystem. He was joined by EPIC’s programme facilitator Ryan Tatusko, EPIC Pro Sport Advisory Board member Dr Meg Popovic and the NCAA’s Clint Hangebrauck.

Buck then returned to moderating duty during the summit for a debate on player protection with a panel of academics, industry representatives and speakers with lived experience of gambling-related harm, while EPIC’s senior director John Millington also took a turn as a moderator to discuss ‘The importance of gambling education and protection of college athletes’. He led the conversation on the challenges that the growth of gambling can pose to student-athletes and what can be done to negate them in the company of EPIC’s VP of prevention, Dan Trolaro and two speakers connected to the NCAA – Jon Steinbrecher (commissioner of the NCAA’s Mid-American Conference) and Becky Harris (distinguished fellow for gaming and leadership at University of Nevada, Las Vegas).

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