Entain, a major sports betting and gaming entertainment company, has expanded its responsible gambling programs to include emerging fields that include online gaming and esports. The step, he said, is in line with his dedication to improving both the standard of entertainment and security for consumers worldwide.
The new partners include the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association, Kindbridge, and Rise Above the Disorder (RAD), and there will be an extended EPIC Risk Management collaboration. The aim of these organisations is to seek to bridge the gap between demand for affordable professional, individual therapy and treatment and availability
They will provide mental health support and education programs for potentially at-risk players and will partner with the business and Entain Foundation, a non-profit charity committed to supporting responsible gaming, dignity in sports and corporate compliance, globally.
About the organisations
Counter-Strike Professional Players Association is the most common Counter-Strike video game worldwide association for professional players, and frequently features in esports events.
EPIC Risk Management, an international consultancy specialising in the prevention of gambling-related damage, already deals with Entain both internationally and in the US and will now be expanding its operation further, even to resolve video gaming and esports.
RAD is a US based non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting people suffering from video gaming-related disorders. Formerly known as Anxiety Gaming, offers access to affordable, grant-based mental health services for gamers.
Kindbridge is the first teletherapy organisation in the world primarily focused on the proactive care of gamblers and gamers who struggle with their mental health. Access to online trained mental health practitioners and specialist support resources is offered by the US-based mental health services organisation.
Martin Lycka, Trustee of Entain Foundation US and Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling, explained: “We are committed to supporting initiatives that encourage responsible gambling and gaming in every way we can.
“The vast majority of people who enjoy playing for fun have no problems whatsoever, and we want to leverage our capabilities to offer them additional experiences whilst keeping all our customers safe.
“These new partnerships are initial steps in this and other new directions as we both expand our offer to customers and the protections we put in place to protect the very small number who may be at risk.”
Expansion into computer games and e-sports
Entain said the announcement today supports its expected expansion into computer games and e-sports in addition to furthering its dedication to responsible gaming. The firm recently launched its Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) program to develop protective and preventive strategies that function in real time, pioneering the use of data science, behavioral analysis, and technology.
Dr Mark Griffiths was named Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Addiction and Psychology by the community late last year, a position that he also holds at Nottingham Trent University. Griffiths is advising Entain on triggers for online play and addiction issues, which help ARC’s ongoing development.