EPIC Pro Sport Advisory Board

An international board looking to safeguard the interests of professional sports and esports stars from the risk of gaming and gambling harm

Many of the world’s top executives and welfare professionals from elite sport and esports are set to gather at Wembley Stadium early in 2023 to learn how best to tackle the issue of gambling harm in their industry, thanks to the Gambling Harm Prevention in Sport Summit, presented by EPIC Risk Management and UCFB’s Global Institute of Sport (GIS).

The two parties have come together via a new partnership which will see them join forces on a number of mutually beneficial arrangements, including sharing of expertise, research, industry knowledge and insight, talent pool and staff development.

The first major opportunity for both EPIC and GIS to showcase the arrangement will see more than 100 key decision makers attend the pioneering event at the home of English football on Wednesday 8th February 2023, where they will be presented with the findings from the first year of activity by EPIC’s Pro Sport Advisory Board.

The select panel of player protection and welfare experts from the sporting, esports and gambling sectors will be unveiling the collective steps that they believe need to be taken to reduce gambling-related issues among those within their jurisdiction, with discussions over the release of their inaugural white paper supported by ‘lived experience’ stories from those who have been directly or indirectly affected by problem gambling.

The invite-only audience present, representing some of the biggest leagues, teams and governing bodies in world sport, will also get chance to have an input into the future direction of the Pro Sport Advisory Board’s mission, by feeding back their own relevant experience of gambling harm within their institutions via panel discussions and round-table breakout groups.

The guest speakers on the day will include Steph Shilton, wife of England men’s football record international cap holder Peter, who will explain how her family life was deeply affected by her husband’s harmful relationship with gambling, and former Premier League manager Brian McDermott, who will talk about his encounters with various forms of addiction in the dressing room during a career which has seen him take charge of the likes of Reading and Leeds United.

John Millington, senior director at EPIC Risk Management, explains why the summit has been called to mark the first year of the Pro Sport Advisory Board’s investigations and how the partnership with GIS will ensure that the event reaches a truly global audience:

“Problem gambling can affect any individual from any walk of life, but several academic studies have reached the same finding that athletes are up to four times more likely to suffer its consequences,” he revealed.

“Clearly, education and prevention work for those who regularly participate in competitive sport is a hugely important in tackling this issue. This summit is designed to bring in experts across the professional sport eco-system to delve into this issue and look at ways of protecting those most vulnerable from gambling harm.

“GIS are the perfect partner to help undertake research and mine data on this topic and have joined forces with us to ensure that we can ensure that the right people can continue to receive it, contribute to it, and act upon it.

“They will be making a vital contribution to the Pro Sport Advisory Board in the longer term via their new status as our Education Partner and we’re delighted that their iconic base at Wembley Stadium will be the perfect setting for some important discussions to take place among the people who can enact genuine change for the better on this issue.”

Commenting on the event, GIS president Sharona Friedman, said:

“We’re delighted to have partnered with EPIC Risk Management to deliver the Gambling Harm Prevention in Sport Summit at our iconic Wembley stadium campus.

“The Global Institute of Sport wants to help address some of the key issues across sport and we look forward to working with EPIC Risk Management on facilitating this discussion as well as working to create future recommendations of best practice.

“Bringing together leaders from across the sports industry to all put forward insight and experiences related to the issues around gambling related harm is the first step in exploring how we can best work towards reducing the risks associated.”

Though the summit is only accessible to individuals on an invite-only basis, EPIC and GIS will be joining forces to release the findings of the ‘Gambling Harm in Pro Sport’ white paper after the event takes place, to ensure that a wider sporting audience can learn from the investigations and act upon wider recommendations to remove gambling harm from their industry wherever possible.

Anyone holding a leading role in management or player welfare within elite professional sport/esports who wishes to register their interest in attending the event can email prosport@epicriskmanagement.com to request details/potential invitations.

More on the Pro Sport Advisory Board...

“We are extremely proud to announce such a diverse and wide-ranging advisory board.

“All members are well-respected in their field of expertise, and we feel their knowledge and personal experiences will make a valuable contribution to this board.

“In turn, we’re delighted to provide members of the board the opportunity to guide our harm minimisation programmes across elite sport which will ultimately protect athletes in their careers from gambling harm and promote and advocate the importance of gambling awareness and education across this area.”

Paul Buck, CEO, EPIC Risk Management

Board Objectives

Reduce gambling and gaming harm across all professional sport
Explaining and sharing best practice between sports and organisations
Lead innovation in gambling harm
Apply a joined-up approach with our education programmes and strategy
Creation of messaging to better inform sports and esports stars
Feed into and inform National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

The Board

Cam Adair

International speaker and entrepreneur

Caryl Banks

Manager of the Professional Athletes Foundation (PAF), NFLPA

Adam Brickell

Public Affairs Director, Flutter UK&I

Nick Denning

Personal Development Manager, Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA)

Steve Emberson

Integrity Manager, Genius Sports

Michelle Evans

Head of Communications and Wellbeing, PFA Scotland

Jack Francis

Head of Player Care, Chelsea FC Academy

Marcus Horan

Player Development Manager, Rugby Players Ireland

Mads Øland

Experienced professional sport and esports director. Former professional footballer

Who Our Board Members Represent