The NFLPA Professional Athletes Foundation has inked a two-year agreement to develop, market and deliver live and interactive educational programmes for all participants with Epic Risk Management and the GVC Foundation U.S.
Commenting in a media statement that “problem gambling and off-field issues have plagued professional athletes in sports since their inception,” retired players will now have to attend proactive seminars on gambling and sports ethics raised by former athletes.
Andre Collins, executive director of the NFLPA Professional Athletes Foundation said: “This is the first program that the NFLPA/PAF has ever run on problem gambling education and awareness.
“As the first major professional sports league in the US to undertake this project, we’re proud to tackle this issue head-on. We urge all sports leagues to address problem gambling with the seriousness it deserves.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Epic Risk Management and GVC Foundation US will develop programme material, customised to address the mental health needs of former NFL players, while NFLPA / PAF will promote, market and organise programme delivery.
Paul Buck, CEO of Epic Risk Management said: “Problem gambling is often described as a hidden addiction. The signs are difficult to spot, yet the effects can be devastating.
“Proactive education offered to vulnerable populations is crucial for curbing problem gambling. We plan to educate former NFL players through motivational talks provided by former professional athletes who’ve experienced the consequences of problem gambling, first-hand.”
The new partnership builds on Epic and the GVC Foundation ‘s current US-based initiative, with the two now collaborating with the Addiction Division at Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching hospital in Harvard Medical School, to perform research into the relationships between elite athletes and problem gambling.
Martin Lycka, GVC Foundation US trustee and GVC Holdings head of regulatory affairs added:
“The gambling industry has a moral responsibility to look after consumers and ensure their wellbeing.
“Those with gambling disorders and addictive tendencies deserve our unyielding support, and this program is a perfect extension of our mission to provide that.”