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Addressing Problem Gambling in the Workplace

12th November 2016

In partnership with UCATT, GamCare hosted a conference to examine the impact that problem gambling has on the workplace, and how workplaces can better support employees with gambling problems.

By the time an employee's job is in jeopardy, it could be too late to address a gambling problem. Wouldn't it be preferable to have a staff team who have the knowledge to recognise and understands the risks, signs and impacts of problematic gambling in the same way they understand drugs and alcohol, so that they can support their employees and protect their business?

That sentiment underpinned our joint conference on Addresing Problem Gambling in the Workplace.

There is plenty of stigma around disclosing or discussing a gambling problem with colleagues - according to a Reed in Parntnership report this year, more than one in four working adults who gamble (28%) across Great Britain would prefer to keep the extent of their gambling hidden from their colleagues.

The same survey revealed that 3% of British adults know someone who has lost a job because of their gambling behaviour. We believe it's vitally important to have conversations about gambling and problem gambling, as the only way we'll remove stigma and potential discrimination is to bust myths and talk about the issues.

Stress at work can increase the risk of gambling problematically, and if an employee is preoccupied with gambling, their concentration and productivity may suffer - further increasing the stress. There is also an increased risk of criminal acts such as fraud or theft if someone becomes desperate to fund their gambling.

Managers, HR teams and Employee Support Programmes all need awareness about how to support someone concerned about their gambling behaviour and the skills to have sensitive conversations in order to signpost to free, confidential and specialist help, like the National Gambling HelpLine. If you are an employer, find out more about GamCare training. For free support materials, click here.

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