EPIC Hires Problem Gaming Expert Doura-Schawohl to Help Create Sustainable Industry in US

Posted on: September 3, 2020, 01:31h. 

Last updated on: September 3, 2020, 10:00h.

EPIC Risk Management, a UK-based consulting firm that seeks to reduce harm and promote responsibility in the gaming industry, has hired one of the foremost experts on problem gaming in the US. The goal is to help broaden their footprint on this side of the Atlantic.

EPIC Risk Management Makes Key Hire
Brianne Doura-Schawohl presents an award at last year’s Gambling Compliance Global Regulatory Awards. The former NCPG legislative director joined EPIC Risk Management as its vice president for US policy and strategic development this week. (Image: NCPG/Facebook)

The company announced this week the addition of Brianne Doura-Schawohl, who will serve as its vice president for US policy and strategic development. Doura-Schawohl comes to the firm after spending the last two years as the legislative director for the National Council on Problem Gaming (NCPG).

In a statement announcing the hire, John Millington, EPIC’s senior vice president for US operations, said she will help the firm “take the problem out of gambling and create a safe and sustainable industry in the US.”

EPIC currently works with the GVC Foundation US to educate college student-athletes and professional athletes about responsible gaming. In addition, the firm also will collaborate with the NFL Players’ Association’s Professional Athletes Foundation, as well as Harvard Medical School’s Division of Addiction.

“We will continue to work with highest-risk, hardest-to-reach populations to help them to better understand problems and responsible gambling, to recognize markers of harm and vulnerability, to be able to identify those at risk and to have the tools to interact effectively with those most vulnerable,” Milligan said.

Important Voice in Gaming

In her new position, Doura-Schawohl said she will be working to forge partnerships with states, regulatory bodies, gaming operators, and consumers.

I am elated to facilitate the creation of national problem and responsible gambling solutions in the areas of policy, education, training, treatment, and resources in the expanding US gambling market; in a quest to further mitigate risk and reduce the harm that can impact some individuals from gambling,” she said.

As the council’s legislative leader, Doura-Schawohl was an important voice on promoting funding for problem gaming initiatives and raising awareness of problem gaming’s ties to other health issues, such as depression.

She also has been an advocate for more education to teenagers about problem gaming, noting that many adults who seek treatment for problem gaming issues recognize their habit started when they were younger.

NCPG data indicates that up to 5 percent of adolescents between ages 12 and 17 meet at least one criterion for developing a gaming problem, and between 10 and 14 percent more in that age range run the risk of developing a problem.

EPIC Risk Management

Paul Buck, CEO and founder of EPIC Risk Management, established the company seven years ago after he dealt with his own problem gaming issue that lasted for a decade. Prior to that, he worked in financial services.

Besides Buck, a number of other EPIC staffers have dealt with their own gaming issues. Among the company’s clientele are Premier League teams Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester City. The firm’s work with professional teams and leagues is mainly about making athletes aware of problem gaming and the financial issues that can arise from it. The firm also works with leagues to identify potential problem gaming behavior.

EPIC also works with gaming companies, such as 888 Holdings, Sky Betting & Gaming, and Kindred to provide coaching and training to help them communicate better with consumers and identify when those individuals may be at tipping points for problem gaming issues. In all, the firm has done work in 14 European countries to help reduce problem gaming.

“This is an extremely exciting development in terms of our strategic direction in the US, as we look to raise awareness of the risks problem gambling can pose to individuals, businesses, and society,” Buck said of Doura-Schawohl’s hiring.