HomeOhio Sports Betting NewsMLS Players Association to Provide Gambling Harm Education and Awareness Programs

MLS Players Association to Provide Gambling Harm Education and Awareness Programs

June 28, 2023 -- The Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) today announced a three-year partnership with Entain Foundation U.S. and EPIC Risk Management to provide Major League Soccer (MLS) athletes, including players from Ohio-based teams FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew, with gambling harm education and awareness programs.

Image: IMAGO / NurPhoto

MLS Gambling Policy is Clear

The MLS website states specifically that MLS players are not to engage in match-fixing, betting, gambling, or any form of wagering on MLS games. Players engaging in such acts could face a stiff fine or lifetime ban.

Earlier this year. Colorado Rapids Max Alves was suspended indefinitely by the league for allegedly accepting a payment to receive a yellow card during a 2022 match with the LA Galaxy. That investigation is still pending, but MLSPA officials want to get out in front of this and why the continued education and partnerships were deemed necessary.

MLSPA Reveals Program Details

The partnership will create a comprehensive program that will provide MLS players with information about the risks of gambling harm and resources and support to help them manage their gambling behavior. The program will include:

  • Educational workshops and presentations
  • Individual counseling and coaching
  • Peer support groups
  • A 24/7 helpline

“We are committed to providing our players with the resources they need to make informed decisions about gambling,” said MLSPA Executive Director Bob Foose. “This partnership with Entain Foundation U.S. and EPIC Risk Management will help us to educate our players about the risks of gambling harm and provide them with the support they need to gamble responsibly.”

“We are proud to partner with the MLSPA to provide gambling harm education and awareness programs to MLS athletes,” said Entain Foundation U.S. CEO Tom Fox. “This partnership is part of our ongoing commitment to responsible gambling, and we are confident that it will make a positive difference in the lives of MLS players.”

“We are excited to work with the MLSPA to provide gambling harm education and awareness programs to MLS athletes,” said EPIC Risk Management CEO Kevin O’Shea. “Our team of experts has a wealth of experience in this area, and we are confident that we can provide MLS players with the information and support they need to make informed decisions about gambling.”

The partnership is the latest initiative by the MLSPA to address problem gambling to its players and teams. In 2021, the union launched a gambling harm awareness campaign and created a gambling harm hotline for its members.

The partnership with Entain Foundation U.S. and EPIC Risk Management is a significant step forward in the MLSPA’s efforts to protect its members from gambling harm. The comprehensive program will provide MLS players with the information and support they need to make informed decisions about gambling and manage their gambling behavior responsibly.

About the MLS Players Association

The Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA) is the union representing professional soccer players in Major League Soccer (MLS). The MLSPA works to ensure that its members have a voice in all aspects of their careers, including compensation, working conditions, and the overall direction of the league.

About Entain Foundation U.S.

Entain Foundation U.S. is the charitable arm of Entain, a global sports betting, and gaming entertainment group. The foundation is committed to promoting responsible gambling and protecting the most vulnerable from gambling harm. They also operate in Ohio, with sports betting in OH being legalized within the previous year.

About EPIC Risk Management

EPIC Risk Management is a leading provider of gambling harm education and awareness programs. The company’s team of experts has a wealth of experience in this area and has worked with a wide range of organizations, including professional sports leagues, government agencies, and educational institutions.

About FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati is in first place on the MLS table and holds a seven-point lead over the New England Revolution. The club was formed in 2015 and has been in the league since 2019. FC Cincinnati reached the Eastern Conference semis in 2022 and plays its home games at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio.

About Columbus Crew

The Columbus Crew were one of the original 10 MLS franchises and are a dozen points behind FC Cincinnati in the MLS standings. The Crew won the 2008 and 2020 MLS championships and plays its home games at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio.

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