Entain adds esports, video gaming to its responsible gaming partnerships
ntain announced Thursday that it has extended its initiatives in responsible gambling to new areas including video-gaming and esports.
The new partners include the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association, Kindbridge, Rise Above the Disorder, and an expanded partnership with EPIC Risk Management. These four organizations will provide mental health support services and education for players potentially at risk and will work internationally with Entain and the Entain Foundation, the company’s non-profit charity dedicated to promoting responsible gambling, sports integrity, and corporate compliance.
Each organization seeks to bridge the gap between demand and availability of affordable professional, individual therapy and care. The CSPPA is the worldwide association for professional players of the largely popular Counter-Strike videogame, which regularly features in esports events.
EPIC is an international consultancy specializing in prevention of gambling-related harm, which already works with Entain both internationally and the U.S. and will now be extending its activity further, also to address videogaming and esports.
RAD is a non-profit universal mental health care system that covers the cost of mental health care for tens of thousands of people around the world. Once a video game group selling in-game items to crowd fund therapy, RAD is now celebrated by the United Nations for having helped over 36,000 people receive free support.
Kindbridge is the world’s first teletherapy company focused specifically on the successful treatment of gamblers and gamers struggling with their mental health. It is a U.S.-based mental health services organization that provides access to online professional mental health counselors and specialized support services.
Entain’s 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, using Entain technology to pioneer new and higher standards of online player protection.
Martin Lycka, Entain Senior Vice President for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling and Trustee of the Entain Foundation US, said in a press release: “We are committed to supporting initiatives that encourage responsible gambling and gaming in every way we can. The vast majority of people 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.”
The new announcement supports Entain’s planned expansion into video-gaming and esports alongside furthering its commitment to responsible gaming. Entain recently unveiled its Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) initiative, pioneering use of data science, behavioral analysis, and technology to develop protective and preventative measures that work in real time.
Late last year Entain appointed Dr. Mark Griffiths as Distinguished Professor of Behavioral Addiction and Psychology, a title he also holds at Nottingham Trent University. Professor Griffiths is advising Entain on triggers for problems with online play and addiction, which is supporting the ongoing development of ARC. Professor Griffiths was previously involved in work with the World Health Organization around online addictions, resulting in the first official recognition of gaming disorder as a psychological problem among video-gamers.