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Entain Teaming with Counter-Strike Professional Players Association, EPIC Risk Management, Kindbridge and Rise Above the Disorder to Provide Support and Resources
Entain, the global sports betting and gaming entertainment provider, today announces that in line with its commitment to raise both the quality of entertainment and protections to customers worldwide 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 Entain partners include:
- Counter-Strike Professional Players Association – The CSPPA is the worldwide association for professional players of the largely popular Counter-Strike videogame, which regularly features in esports events.
- EPIC Risk Management – An international consultancy specializing in prevention of gambling-related harm, EPIC already works with Entain both internationally and the U.S. and will now be extending its activity further, also to address videogaming and esports.
- Rise Above the Disorder – A non-profit universal mental health care system, RAD 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 – The world’s first teletherapy company focused specifically on the successful treatment of gamblers and gamers struggling with their mental health, Kindbridge 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, explains, “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.”
Today’s 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.
PARTNERS HOLD UNIQUE EXPERTISE
The Entain Foundation US is a first-of-its-kind non-profit organization, dedicated to promoting responsible gambling, sports integrity and corporate compliance in the U.S. The Foundation was launched last year by the Entain Global Foundation and the Entain Group.
Trustees of the Entain Foundation US include Entain’s Martin Lycka, former New York Giants wide receiver and Super Bowl Champion Amani Toomer and international gambling regulatory expert Bill Pascrell III, a partner at Princeton Public Affairs Group. The Entain Foundation US already sponsors a variety of information and education programs on problem gambling for college and university athletes and coaches, professional athletes, teams and leagues. Globally, the Entain Foundation has committed more than $100 million to responsible gambling programs over the next five years.
Rise Above the Disorder (RAD) A non-profit universal mental health care system, RAD 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, now celebrated by the United Nations for having helped over 36,000 people receive free support.
Kindbridge Kindbridge is the world’s first teletherapy company with a focus on the successful treatment of gambling and gaming addictions. Launched in 2020 Kindbridge is dedicated to a centralized, value-based approach to delivering timely, efficient, and effective care on-demand across the US. Diagnosing and treating qualified mental health, gambling & gaming disorders, and any related co-morbidities in a teletherapy setting allows their clients access to a treatment plan from the comfort of their own homes.
CSPPA Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (CSPPA), is the worldwide representative association for professional Counter-Strike (CS:GO) players. The CSPPA aims to safeguard, protect, and promote professional Counter-Strike players’ interests both during and after their active career. The CSPPA will work to secure the best possible working conditions for the players, while taking into account the special nature of the industry. Any player who is contracted or actively seeking a contract as a professional Counter-Strike player and who competes at an elite level is eligible to be an active member of the CSPPA.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is the multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment. It was released in 2012.
EPIC Risk Management is a globally leading independent gambling harm minimization consultancy. Working across the highest risk sectors for gambling-related harm, EPIC has worked in 21 countries on ground-breaking harm-minimization programs, sector leading gambling operator training, and class-leading advisory. EPIC draws on lived experience to help individuals and organizations across financial services, elite sport, the military, criminal justice, education, and the gambling industry to minimize the risks posed by gambling harm.