The rapid growth of the US betting and gaming space has placed a ‘real importance’ on ensuring that prevention of gambling related harm occurs, according to EPIC Risk Management’s John Millington.
Speaking to SBC at the Betting on Sports Europe (BOSE) last month, EPIC’s SVP US shared his views on the significance of gambling harm prevention in the burgeoning North American sector.
“It’s essential,” he explained. “We’re not naive enough to say that gambling wasn’t around until three years ago when states started to legalise, but the reality is that the industry is starting to grow at a colossal rate.
“There’s a real importance and a real opportunity to embed harm prevention and problem gambling services into that growth, and try and ensure that the infrastructure around harm prevention grows at the same time as the industry.”
EPIC’s US-facing operations have seen the gambling harm consultancy open a subsidiary in the East Coast state of Delawre to function as its HQ for North American activity, whilst also entering into an agreement with Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise Chicago Fire, in collaboration with the Entain Foundation.
“Our reach will spread with greater work in the US, there are some big projects coming up in 2022,” Millington continued. “We’re also starting to extend our work out in Australia, and that will be an area that will be a big focus for us in 2022.”
Citing research which suggests that professional athletes are four times more likely to face issues with problem gambling than the general population, Millington explained the consultancy’s motivation behind the creation of its Pro Sports Advisory Board.
Launched in October 2021, the Pro Sport Advisory Board contains members from a range of sports and sports betting organisations, including Flutter Entertainment, the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), Chelsea FC and Genius Sports.
“We felt that we wanted to bring together some of the leading authorities, the knowledge leaders and thought leaders from within the sports industry, from clients that we work with to clients we like to wroth with to organisations that work with professional sports, to bring a melting pot of ideas to make sure that the services we’re delivering are fit for purpose, they’re staying ahead of the curve and they’re meeting the needs of the environment we work in.”