The Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association (CSPPA) and EPIC Risk Management have agreed to become global Gambling Awareness Partners, according to a release.
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EPIC Risk Management and CSPPA will work to provide ‘impactful and proven awareness, education, and risk-management programmes’ to CSPPA members through a series of sessions. As global Gambling Awareness Partners, both parties will launch a series of research projects focusing on gambling awareness in esports.
This is a momentous agreement for a couple of reasons. First, esports gambling is now huge, and many people in esports, including fans, players, and workers are still teenagers or young adults. It’s important to protect them from problem gambling. Second, 53 percent of bets on LOOT.BET’s platform in 2020 were placed on CS:GO matches. This partnership is therefore tackling the issue head-on in a key battleground.
CSPPA CEO Mads Øland said on the partnership: “The CSPPA understands that elite athletes, including CSPPA Members, are potentially more vulnerable to gambling addiction and betting-integrity issues. The CSPPA is committed to protecting its members from the potential harms of gambling addiction, which not only harms the individual both financially and with regards to mental health, but also exposes and makes players vulnerable to further abuse relating to betting integrity and match fixing.
“We are delighted to be working with EPIC on a multi-year collaboration as they are recognised as the leading organisation globally for gambling awareness, and have conducted proven programmes across different sports at an elite level.”
EPIC Risk Management CEO Paul Buck said: “We’re delighted to announce such a landmark agreement. I must applaud the leadership of the CSPPA for taking a lead in esports around the threats of gambling harm, and we are very excited to launch a first-of-its-kind agreement with an esports players’ association.
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“The proliferation of gambling on esports and the growth of this sector shows that there is a broad demographic of people, which include esports players themselves, their fans, audiences, and commercial entities who could be at risk to problem gambling.”
EPIC Risk Management has partnered with the likes of Manchester City FC, the British Army, Barclays, and the Rugby Players’ Association to prevent gambling-related harm.
Esports Insider says: It’s fantastic to see such a partnership in esports. While teams and tournament operators struggle to turn a profit, esports betting companies grow rapidly. So many esports fans and players are young adults or teenagers. Gambling can become a destructive addiction and needs to be treated as such — particularly as many in the industry are still very young. It’s also crucial that this is a partnership focused on CS:GO, where a large portion of total esports bets are placed.