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Problem Gambling in the Workplace

18th August 2016

Catherine looks at what effect problem gambling and the workplace can have on individuals and businesses.

We know that many people gamble without any harm to themselves or others, but for some gambling can become a serious problem.

A recent Reed in Partnership report found that 10% of working adults have direct experience of the problems gambling can cause in the workplace and more than four in five British adults think that gambling and debt can be a distraction for people in work.

A gambling problem can be incredibly complex, with motivations and triggers that vary for each individual, however concentration and behaviour at work has been found to be affected by gambling, leading to a loss of productivity.

Our Advisers and counsellors hear from hundreds of people every day who are impacted by problem gambling and addiction. The most common impacts we hear about are financial difficulty, relationship breakdown (including divorce), depression, stress and anxiety, low self-esteem, isolation and loneliness. We also hear about theft, fraud and reduced productivity – some people feel so trapped that they call us on the brink of ending their lives.

What does problem gambling cost your business?

Employers need to understand not only the impact that problem gambling can have on individuals, but the bigger picture for their businesses:

  • 12.5% of fraud now related to problem gambling (up to £225 million each year)1
  • Employee sickness and other absence
  • Impacts on employee mental health
  • Reduced productivity
  • Damage to your reputation

Protecting your business and supporting your employees

The National Gambling HelpLine and GamCare counselling services can support your current Employee Assistance Programme and provide additional safeguarding – our free advice and support is available nationwide.

GamCare can also assist your business in developing robust workplace gambling policies, and in providing training for HR and managers to identify potential problem gambling behaviour and provide appropriate support and signposting. Contact us today.

External links:

1. BDO Fraudtrack Report, February 2016