gambling addiction at work

Gambling Addiction at Work: You Bet It’s a Problem

While gambling is an old pastime referred to in countless ancient stories, the nature of gambling is changing because it has become a part of everyday society. Instead of taking place at a specific location such as a casino or racetrack, smartphones now make it possible to bet from anywhere, at any time, seven days a week. Gambling addiction at work is a problem and increasingly affects executives. Corporations are utilizing Executive Recovery Coaching to help executives with this very compelling addiction issue.

How do I talk to an executive about their gambling problem?

First, approach the individual in a supportive and respectful manner. Speak only for yourself and without judgement. A good way to start might be: “I am concerned about you and you might be uncomfortable to hear this but I notice how your work performance has been slipping lately due to the distraction of online gambling. I recommend you speak with a professional.”

Smartphone & Automation Technology Increase Gambling Addiction at the Workplace

It is common that someone with a gambling problem is spending time during the day planning their next gambling move or bet. This is compounded because online gambling formats utilize the accessibility of smartphones and automated technology to consistently engage gamblers throughout the workday. A gambling addiction that is enabled by technology first makes its appearance in loss of productivity. When a gambling problem snowballs into a financial situation, a desperate employee may resort to more drastic measures such as theft, fraud, or even embezzlement. 

How to Spot a Gambling Addiction at the Workplace

In addition to a deterioration in performance and a general preoccupied manner, gambling in the workplace affects executive behavior in these common ways:

  • Increasingly spends time gambling during lunch hours and coffee breaks
  • Frequent unexplained absences or disappearances from the workday
  • Eagerness to organize and participate in betting opportunities with coworkers
  • Pay is requested in lieu of vacation time
  • Frequent borrowing of money
  • Commonly argues with colleagues about money that is owed to him or her
  • Mood swings in relation to winning or losing streaks
  • Personal credit card or loan statements mailed to the workplace
  • False claims made against expense accounts
  • Theft of company property

A good path for overall corporate policy includes making statements in a human resources manual and providing awareness training on gambling and other addictions. 

Professional Assistance with Gambling Addiction

An Executive Recovery Coach works with clients to assess what issues are under the surface of their gambling addiction and to identify what situations trigger their impulse to gamble. Together, the Executive Recovery Coach and their client will design ways around the technological advances of modern day gambling via devices. Additionally, the client’s recovery will be assisted with new and healthy techniques to handle daily gambling impulses.

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