The National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and EPIC Risk Management have reported significant progress in delivering their player protection program against gambling harms.

Colleges and universities across the US in all three NCAA divisions are improving student-athletes’ awareness of gambling risks and potential harm as sports betting continues to be legalized in more than 30 states.

EPIC Risk Management has provided a customized education and awareness player protection program to student-athletes, coaches, game officials, health care personnel, and support personnel, educating them on the risks associated with gambling and sports wagering integrity.

EPIC Risk Management has been able to conduct 158 face-to-face education sessions across 46 colleges in 22 states across the US, having reached up to 8000 NCAA collegiate athletes and staff.

“We are pleased that this collaboration has reached so many student-athletes. The risks associated with sports wagering are abundant, and the education provided by EPIC Risk Management is invaluable for student-athletes, coaches, administrators and officials. We appreciate the teamwork to help protect the integrity of college sports and the well-being of everyone involved,” Stan Wilcox, NCAA executive vice president for regulatory affairs, said.

“Entain Foundation US is proud to support EPIC Risk Management on the face-to-face delivery of problem gambling awareness and player protection workshops to NCAA college-athletes across the country. We are glad that the funding provided by Entain Foundation US has helped EPIC, the global leaders in delivery of problem gambling education, to have such a huge impact on one of the highest-risk populations,” Martin Lycka, Entain plc’s senior vice president for American regulatory affairs and responsible gambling and trustee of Entain Foundation US, said.

Globally, Entain Foundation has pledged to invest $132 million in responsible gambling initiatives over the next five years, including an investment in the face-to-face element of the NCAA educational program facilitated by EPIC Risk Management.

“We are delighted to be able to work closely with colleges around the nation on this essential education and awareness program. There is a collective responsibility to ensure the minimization of potential gambling harms, and the promotion of player safety. Our collaboration with Entain Foundation US represents a key strategic piece of our prevention pillar, and it is great that so many organizations are recognizing the importance of education and awareness for this potentially high-risk population,” John Millington, senior director with EPIC Risk Management, said.