PPF Teamed Up with GamStop to Protect its Members from Problem Gambling
By Space Coast Daily // January 27, 2021
The same traits that make high-performance athletes excel in a discipline have been detected as the reason behind their increased risk to become problem gamblers, up to 4 more times than regular people.
Against the prevalence and risk of online gambling, the UK’s biggest sports association, the Professional Players Federation has partnered with GamStop, the self-exclusion scheme, to continue its mission of preserving the wellbeing of the British athletes by educating them about playing with non GamStop bookmakers featured here and the risks of gambling in their lives.
The UK has a natural love for sports, especially considering that several popular ones have the British nation as their birthplace. Cricket, horse racing, golf, rugby, tennis and the king of all: football.
As disciplines grew, the need for regulation and protection of their practice and the players involved, became prevalent, resulting in the spawning of several associations such as the League managers association, the professional golfers association, the professional jockey association as an example.
To arbitrage these bodies a major one was created to overwatch the rights of the UK’s 17,500 professional sportsmen and women, The Professional Player Association.
Keeping the Game Fair
Originally constituted as the Professional Sport Institute in 1991, the Professional Players Federation PPF has been the body in charge of overwatching the interest and rights of all athletes in the UK across its 13 affiliated professional sports associations.
Since its inception the PPF has been advocated:
■ Provide a forum for the member player associations
■ Undertake initiatives to support professional sportspeople
■ Represent the collective views of the professional players’ associations to government and the media
■ Support the formation of new player associations with advice and practical support
This has led to the creation of several initiatives to promote fair conditions among associated members such as anti-racism, and the mental health stigma.
Several other welfare and education programmes are running as the PPF directs its concerns to cross-sport issues like match-fixing, career transition, mental health and anti-doping. But in recent years, problem gambling is taking the spotlight and even becoming a trigger for all the previous ones.
Natural Born Problem Gamblers
When we combine the physical talents of an athlete prospect with an unbendable discipline and willingness to succeed even against all odds, we have in our hands a sports prodigy but is shocking to see that the same features we envy and admire on successful athletes such as:
■ High levels of energy
■ High-risk tolerance
■ Unreasonable expectations of winning
■ Extremely competitive personalities
■ Distorted optimism and,
■ and often with high IQ intelligence
Like any substance addict, athletes’ brains also develop tolerance to the dopamine rush they experiment while competing. Although more subtle than withdrawal symptoms, athletes’ cravings for a challenge, makes them turn even the most friendly activity into a competition.
If athletes begin to gamble on win or loss is enough to ignite the spark. They will start applying the same mindset from the field to the betting tables making the necessary adjustments to their gambling patterns to become consistent winners.
The risk, however, instead of backing them like any other people is highly attractive. the higher the stakes, the higher their willingness to keep betting even if that means compromising their finances.
The hazard increases with the availability that online gambling offers to these competitors. Not being bound to a location or schedule, just by reaching any device connected to the internet, problem gambling athletes turn any idle moment into a very concealable betting opportunity.
Knowing that associate members are 4 times more at risk to develop a problem gambling condition, the Professional player Federation has made a partnership with GamStop, UK self-excluding service scheme to educate and deliver assistance in the direst cases.
The service, launched in 2018 has involved the mandatory participation of all licensed operators in the UK, Gamblers can select the extension of their self-exclusion from 6 months up to 3 years.
During that period they won’t be able to access or register a new account and any request to cancel the free service is followed by a 7-day cooldown period before it can be reconsidered. with these controls, more than 160,000 registered users have managed to successfully self-exclude till date.
The partnership has added several initiatives to raise awareness about the risk of problem gambling in the lives of PPF members.
Being the education of athletes and the general public a priority, The official site offers several educational videos to help understand the signs of problem gambling between them and peers alike.
An assessment quiz which can be answered anonymously is also available to identify the extent of a possible problem gambling condition and address them to the proper channel being GamStop the right one for those suffering or looking to protect themselves from its online harm.
As sports evolve and grow so are the risk players are facing. In the past problem gambling wasn’t even considered as the hazards it is today but is the work of associations such as the PPF and GamStop to preserve the wellbeing and integrity of players which makes possible recognize and treat its harms before the talents we admire get lost forever.