Gambling, especially online gambling, is one of the fastest growing addictions in the world today. An NHS survey in 2009 found that since restrictions on gambling were lifted, over 1.3 million Brits have a gambling problem. In the USA there are said to be 10 million gambling addicts, with thousands more close family members affected.
Gambling in the Workplace
Gambling isn’t confined to the bookmakers’ shops or casinos. Gambling can take place at the home computer, the office computer, or even by smart phone – and online everything is anonymous. Financial spread betting is a popular choice for those who want to feel more in control, but it comes with a very high risk, even for experienced financial professionals.
Addiction to gambing is easy to hide from employers and warning signs are easily missed.
Signs of Gambling Addiction
- Preoccupation with gambling, reliving past gambling experiences and obsession with the next fix,
- Betting increasing amounts of money and taking greater risks to get more of a high,
- Unsuccessful attempts to stop,
- Concealing the extent of gambling from others,
- Conflict – gambling begins to conflict with personal and professional relationships,
- Work performance suffering due to long nights spent gambling,
- Withdrawal – increased irritability and anxiety when prevented from gambling;
- Making excuses for large losses,
- Stressed about mounting debts.
As gambling addiction progresses, a person’s life becomes focused on the next gambling “fix”. This leads to progressive desperation, depression and feelings of shame and fear. Unfortunately many gamblers do not seek help until the problem is serious and they are facing financial ruin or affecting the lives of others.
Gambling is often linked to alcohol and drug abuse, particularly cannabis & cocaine.
Gambling Addiction Signs for Employers
- Is the employee constantly exhausted, always late for work, unable to concentrate during office hours? Investigate declining productivity with gambling in mind. Gambling addicts often spent the night gambling or playing poker online.
- Alternatively addicted employees who are in debt might take on lots of overtime work or request payment instead of holidays in order to fund their addiction.
- Problem gamblers might use their smart phones excessively while at their desks.
- Is an employee often preoccupied or distracted? Elated or moody? Problem gamblers’ moods will depend on their recent gambling successes. Large debts will lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts.
- Addicted employees might owe money to colleagues and have a reputation for not repaying loans.
- Listen to co-workers who express concern about a colleague’s gambling problems. Those working close to the addict are more likely to pick up on signs or know what is going on in their life.
Private Gambling Rehab
For information about private gambling rehab call Castle Craig’s confidential, free 24 hour helpline: 0800 0322 880. From outside the UK, call +44 1721 722 763 or visit the Castle Craig rehab clinic website.