EPIC Risk Management and the NCAA will partner to bring responsible gambling training to four North Carolina universities in 2024. The four universities that will receive the first wave of training are:
- East Carolina University
- High Point University
- Duke University
- UNC Pembroke
This announcement was made at a meeting of the North Carolina Lottery Commission meeting on Wednesday.
Responsible Gambling in North Carolina will be an important aspect of the launch of legal online sports betting in the state, which will take place within the first half of 2024.
North Carolina will likely learn much from states that have previously launched sports betting markets and regulated the activity. One of the primary stated goals by lawmakers for legalizing sportsbooks is to protect consumers and ensure responsible gambling.
A coordinated and comprehensive responsible gambling program is crucial for North Carolina. According to research from the American Gaming Association earlier this year, 75% of regular gamblers believe responsible gambling policies and campaigns “have been effective in encouraging responsible play.”
What type of training could EPIC offer North Carolina universities?
According to the EPIC website, the company offers training “across the gambling ecosystem to ensure regulation, legislation, and policy addresses the prevention of gambling-related harms and encourages a safe and sustainable industry.” This includes training and resources for universities, colleges, and other educational institutions.
- In-person education workshops
- Seminars on Responsible Gambling
- Pre-recorded RG Education Sessions
- On-demand virtual resources for schools.
EPIC seeks to assist these constituents: student-athletes, coaches, administrators, NCAA game officials, university and regional healthcare staff and counselors.
In July, EPIC visited Colorado State University to discuss student gambling awareness. The wide-ranging seminar covered people’s lived experiences with gambling, warning signs of problem gambling and a comprehensive analysis of the NCAA’s sports betting laws.
As states bolster RG regulations, schools are finding a need to dedicate staff to compliance with state guidelines regarding gaming, whether it’s sports betting, online casinos or the lottery.
In 2022, when the NCAA announced a national partnership with EPIC, the leader of that company spoke about experience.
“Our team is made up of industry experts, many with lived experience of gambling addiction, committed to raising awareness and preventing gambling harm. We are excited to work with the NCAA to further equip student-athletes and athletics personnel with the most comprehensive gambling harm preventative services, support, awareness and education,” Paul Buck, CEO of EPIC, said in Jan. 2022.
According to EPIC, the company has provided RG resources and education to “more than 15,000 athletes and more than 50,000 students.”
Why is gambling risk management important for North Carolina?
Problem gambling is a danger for college students, some of whom are very active in online wagering and sports activities as fans. North Carolina is home to 55 four-year public or private colleges or universities, with close to 100,000 students. The state has 18 Division I universities.
A recent NCSharp interview with Dr. Michelle Malkin, an associate professor of criminal justice at East Carolina University in Greenville, illustrated the concerns about collegiate problem gambling. Malkin points out the importance of a robust RG program for states that legalize sportsbooks, and how it impacts college-age consumers.
As NCSharp has previously reported universities revealed that many were not prepared to address the issue of betting-related harassment. 17 of the 18 Division 1 schools in NC that NCSharp contacted either refused to comment on betting harassment or did not respond.