Entain expands RG partnerships into esports and video gaming

| By Conor Mulheir
Industry giant Entain has expanded its partnership with EPIC Risk Management and formed new partnerships with the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association (CSPPA), and two mental health groups in order to extend its responsible gambling initiatives to video gaming and esports.

EPIC, the CSPPA and mental health bodies Kindbridge and Rise Above the Disorder will provide mental health support services and education for players potentially at risk, and will work internationally with Entain and the company’s non-profit charity, the Entain Foundation.

The operator said its strategy for sustainability and growth underscores its commitment to delivering the highest possible levels of player safety and protection across all its markets.

As part of its safer gambling strategy, the Entain Foundation supports customer protection through a mix of education and support projects, as well as research and data analysis.

Each of its new partner organisations seeks to bridge the gap between demand and availability of affordable professional, individual therapy and care, the operator said.

EPIC Risk Management is an international consultancy specialising in the prevention of gambling-related harm, and already works with Entain. Its partnership will now be expanded to address video gaming and esports.

The CSPPA is the worldwide association for professional players of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive video game, which is among the world’s most popular esports titles.

The association aims to safeguard, protect and promote professional Counter-Strike players’ interests, working to secure the best possible working conditions for the players.

Kindbridge is the world’s first teletherapy company focused specifically on the treatment of gamblers and gamers struggling with their mental health. The US-based mental health services organisation provides access to online professional mental health counsellors and specialised support services.

Rise Above the Disorder (RAD) is a non-profit universal mental health care system, covering the cost of mental health care for tens of thousands of people around the world. RAD has been celebrated by the United Nations for having helped over 36,000 people receive free mental health support.

“We are committed to supporting initiatives that encourage responsible gambling and gaming in every way we can,” Martin Lycka, senior vice president for American regulatory affairs and responsible gambling, and trustee of the Entain Foundation US, said.

“The vast majority of people enjoy playing for fun and 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.”

GVC Holdings rebranded as Entain in December last year, after the proposal was overwhelmingly supported by its shareholders.

In January, the operator appointed Jette Nygaard-Andersen as its new chief executive, after Shay Segev stepped down from the role to become co-CEO for sports streaming platform, Dazn.

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