EPIC Risk Management has strengthened its team after confirming the appointment of Jonathan Peniket as its new Online Gaming and Esports Consultant.
As part of his new role, Peniket will support EPIC in expanding its work towards minimising gambling-related harm across the esports and further new gaming disciplines. He will particularly focus on delivering sessions in the company’s education and professional sports pillars in the UK, Europe and the USA.
“I am proud and excited to be joining this team as a Gaming and eSports consultant,” said Jonathan Peniket.
“EPIC contacted me after I told my story about loot box addiction on the BBC earlier this year. I feel that it is helping me to make a real difference in educating on the very real dangers of gambling within video games. Though gaming may be a slightly new angle for EPIC, it is one that the company takes seriously, and I am grateful to be able to use my expertise to help it to tackle issues within gaming.”
The new appointment comes after the use of loot boxes and in-gaming spending continues to attract further scrutiny from government and foriegn and domestic regulators.
Last month, the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a call for evidence on the impact of loot boxes in video games in a bid to examine rising concerns that they may encourage problem gambling or compulsive habits.
“We’re delighted to bring Jonathan into EPIC Risk Management,” added Paul Buck, CEO at EPIC Risk Management. “Jonathan brings to EPIC his own Lived Experience and is a passionate advocate for educating young people and their significant others of the potential dangers of online gaming and loot-boxes.
“The eSports and gaming landscape is an area that is receiving more and more scrutiny and the recent House of Lords Gambling Committee calls for evidence and discussions concerning video game loot boxes in a real signifier of that. We feel that with Jonathan on-board, added to a new advisory board of leading experts to be announced in the coming days, we have someone who can help shape our approach and help connect with an extremely important demographic.”
Commenting on the new appointment, Patrick Foster, EPIC Risk Management’s Director of Educational Programmes, emphasised his belief that addressing the harms associated with loot boxes and esports will be something that will wholly benefit EPIC’s mission.
“We work with some incredible partners in the education sector such as the Boarding Schools Association, HMC – the professional Association of heads of the world’s leading independent schools – and in our feedback with them, they have asked for us to explore educational sessions around eSports and gaming with feedback from school’s being that this topic needs to be at the forefront of sessions to their pupils.
“Again, in our Professional Sports pillar where we work with the likes of the Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Manchester City FC, English Football League (EFL), Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), and the Rugby Players’ Association, we have had similar feedback and requests for their players. With someone like Jonathan, we have a young man with Lived Experience, knowledge, and passion to help convey our message.”