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Problem gambling in your workplace: is this a risk you can ignore?

CII Thinkpiece no.117

EPIC, the problem gambling consultancy, considers the issue of pathological gambling in the workplace, especially in senior decision-making positions.

In March 2013 Pathological gambling was reclassified as a behavioural addiction, thus changing an organisation's duty of care. There is now a legal and regulatory obligation to be aware of this issue and it is a CEO's responsibility to safeguard against this mental health condition.

Gambling is the fastest growing addiction in the UK, with 450,000 problem gamblers, with a further 3,000,000 at risk of becoming so.  It is claimed for every problem gambler at least ten other people are affected from family to friends to work colleagues.

Problem gambling has the highest suicide, relapse, bankruptcy, co-morbidity and relationship breakdown rates of any addiction but not currently tackled as a risk issue.

Gambling is the fastest growing reason for custodial sentences, with an upward trend witnessed across financial services.

Despite several high profile cases, most firms have not taken steps to identify and manage the risks of employee problem gambling in the workplace. Problem gambling increases reputational and financial risk related to fraud.

Employers have a duty of care to their employees, to ensure they work in a safe environment. Does your firm have a block on gambling websites? Are their unsupervised computers in break-out areas? Ever considered that the gambling site your colleague seems to visit so frequently is actually harmful to your colleague and maybe your firm?

Firms should consider including gambling related risks on their risk register.

Pdf icon small View the attached Thinkpiece »

See recent CII Thinkpieces:

No.116: Professional advisers should not fear the pension reforms, by Dr Roz Altmann CBE (now Pensions Minister)

No.115: How can people with disabilities get a better deal from the insurance market? by Teresa Perchard

No.114: Homemade pensions: what do the pension freedoms mean for property equity? by Nick Hurman

No.113: A brave new retirement: funding life after work and helping to make difficult choices, by Huw Evans (Director-General of the ABI)


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