ntain, the owner of gambling brands like Ladbrokes, bwin and Coral, is extending the scope of its work with external partners to provide education and support across additional areas of interactive entertainment.
Through its non-profit Entain Foundation, the company intends to build on work initiated with partners in the U.S. to help video-gaming and esports players in the UK and Europe at potential risk of harm.
In alliance with its partners in the area of player protection, the Foundation’s first initiatives include the launch of “Mind Your Game” in the UK with Game Quitters, a support community for victims of gaming disorder. The Mind Your Game initiative was developed with additional support from Kindbridge, a teletherapy company focused on the treatment of gamblers and gamers suffering mental health issues. The Entain Foundation is sponsoring a social media educational initiative to raise awareness of potential addiction.
The second initiative consists of providing education and support for people at risk of online addiction and gaming disorder in video gaming and interactive entertainment with EPIC Risk Management, an international consultancy specializing in the prevention of gambling harm and the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association, which represents professional players across e-sports. The Association has a global focus and works closely with EPIC.
In an official press release, Grainne Hurst, Director of Safer Gaming and Regulation at Entain, spoke about the company’s philosophy.
“Our business is all about understanding and meeting the needs of customers, which means offering the most entertaining experiences whilst doing everything we can to protect them. At the core of our approach to sustainability is our belief that delivering the highest possible levels of player safety and protection is the best way to guarantee our long-term success”.
Last year Entain launched a Sustainability Charter, with four cornerstones including leading on responsible gaming and investing in people and communities. To achieve this, Entain promised to invest £100 million in the Foundation by 2025 to include educational and support projects.
Entain is advised by Dr Mark Griffiths as Distinguished Professor of Behavioral Addiction and Psychology, who holds the same position at the University of Nottingham. Dr Griffiths has studied addictive behaviors for over 30 years and was part of a team whose work prompted the World Health Organisation to recognize Gaming Disorder as a mental health condition for the first time in June 2018.
Dr Griffiths, together with academics from Harvard Medical Faculty School of Addiction, are working with Entain on a five-year research project to improve understanding of addictive behaviours. In addition they form part of a panel of academics advising Entain on its technological approach to personalized player protection called ARC (Advanced Responsibility and Care).