Online gambling giant Entain, is expanding its education and support services, to help video-gaming and e-sports players stay in control. The company has pledged £100 million to be invested in its Entain Foundation by 2025.
The phenomenon of gaming disorder has been gaining publicity recently, raising public awareness of what can become a serious affliction. *In 2019, gaming disorder was recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization (WHO)*.
WHO’s definition of the disorder states that it is characterized by a lack of control of gaming habits, “to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities.”
It also specifies that “The pattern of gaming behavior results in marked distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.”
The non-profit Entain Foundation plans to extend its work with US partners, in order to help players in the UK and Europe who are at risk of harm. The foundation will be working with several groups, across a range of interactive entertainments, in order to reach as many at-risk players as possible.
Mind Your Game is First Program to be Launched.
Primary initiatives include Mind Your Game — a program which is to be rolled out in the UK, in partnership with support group Game Quitters, who provide help and advice to victims of gaming disorder.
Mind Your Game has been developed in association with Kindbridge —a teletherapy company which helps gamblers and gamers who are experiencing mental health issues. As part of the initiative, The Entain Foundation has sponsored a social media campaign which hopes to raise awareness of gaming disorder and the risks of potential addiction.
Another early initiative, is to provide education and support for at-risk players, in conjunction with EPIC Risk Management and the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association (CSPPA)
EPIC is an international consultancy group who specialize in the prevention of harm from gambling, and the CSPPA is a body which represents the interests professional e-sports players globally. The two organizations work closely together.
Mind Your Game aims to help players and their families by providing education on the subject of mental health. This includes advice on specific issues peculiar to gaming; strategies for reducing potential harm; and details of how to obtain the right support.
As part of the campaign, Mind Your Game has released a number of educational videos on YouTube. The subjects covered by the videos are:
- Skin Gambling
- Esports Betting
- Spot the Problem
- Seek Help
A Focus on Sustainability
Entain’s Director of Safer Gambling and Regulation is Grainne Hurst. She is very clear that making a gaming business sustainable, means making it safe:
“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.”
This philosophy is in accordance with Entain’s Sustainability Charger, which was launched last year. The charter is comprised of four cornerstones:
- An exclusive focus on regulated markets
- Continuing to take the lead on responsible gambling
- Pursuing the highest standards of corporate governance
- Investing in our people and local communities
Entain is advised by Dr. Mark Griffiths, Distinguished Professor of Behavioural Addiction at the Nottingham Trent University. Dr. Griffiths was part of the team that convinced WHO to recognize Gaming Disorder as a disease.
Alongside specialists from the Harvard Medical Faculty School of Addiction, he is working on a five-year project to better understand addictive behaviors. Together, they form part of the panel advising Entain on its player protection program known as ARC—Advanced Responsibility and Care.