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If you want to know the impact of gambling on businesses, this is the perfect article to read.

It reveals a lot about how gambling impacts businesses and best tips & companies that can help reduce the impacts.

 

Importance

15,524 is our introduction as it relates to the impact of gambling on businesses.

No this is not the amount of money that businesses lose or that employees lose but is the number of Dominoes.


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Specifically, the longest Domino chain that was ever put together and holds the world record is 15,524 Dominoes.

Incredibly, this world record of a Domino line took two days to build by standing the Dominoes up in a certain pattern.

As the first Domino fell the entire number of Dominoes all fell in place within five minutes.

A number of parallels can be drawn to this chain reaction of one Domino falling and others in line with these Dominoes falling consecutively.

This Domino effect certainly holds true in the world of the compulsive gambler.

Like a Domino, the gambler places bet after bet after bet.

The Dominoes (bets) line up one against the other and then the chain reaction occurs in a gambler’s life when the money runs out or other negative occurrences.

Also, there are other Dominoes involved that are affected by these fallen game pieces. Some of those pieces are family, a spouse, place of work, a personal business, ownership of the home, assets, etc.

An out-of-control gambler’s actions, through the Domino effect, adversely tumbles and others and things are involved topple in the process.

 

Personal Story

It was to be a fun afternoon in which we had a set amount of money that we were going to utilize to gamble.

The games of chance that we were going to indulge in including the slot machines or the one-armed bandits, a few rolls of the die to see what lady luck would bring, and then sit at the blackjack table and play for an hour or so to see if we could reach that magic number of 21 and beat the dealer more than she beat us.

My wife was not much one for gambling and so after an hour of being there, she made her way outside to the hot desert air and sat in front of the casino.

Eventually, our allotted time was up, and we met up with my wife who was outside waiting for us.

On our way back home, she seemed awfully quiet and I asked her what was wrong.

She then indicated that while she was sitting outside, she met a lady who was outside of the casino crying and my wife engaged her in a conversation.

Come to find out the lady had gambled not only what she had allotted herself but had ended up gambling away her rent money for the month.

 

What Is Problem Gambling?

Problem gambling is a disruptive behavior demonstrated by an individual in which they are overly preoccupied with games of chance involving the betting of money.

Some of the symptoms of an individual who has a gambling addiction can include betting more money and more frequently, exhibiting restlessness or ability when trying to stop, the act of chasing their losses.

In essence, it is the behavior demonstrated by an individual in which everything seemingly revolves around the act of gambling.

The result of these behaviors can lead to financial ruin, legal issues, loss of a career, loss of the family, loss of one’s assets, and may even lead to the individual taking their own life.

 

6 Major Impacts of Gambling on Businesses

 

1. Lost Time

In the workplace, the compulsive gambler will demonstrate the effects of their compulsion in a number of ways.

One of those ways is that their addiction will begin to have an impact on their work ethic and more and more they will call in sick, perhaps leave work early, or just generally “not show up” mentally or physically.

 

2. Lost Productivity

Of course, with the loss of time, the troubled employee not showing up for work or if they are preoccupied, all of this can equate to a loss of productivity within the workplace.

Also, if the employee is not fully engaged, the possibility of injury because of inattentiveness is a stronger possibility which can result in not only potential health concerns for the employee but can have ramifications for the company as it relates to safety rules, OSHA guidelines, etc.

 

3. Theft

When compulsive gamblers lose, their main focus, because of their gambling addiction, is to get back to the gambling website or location with money in hand vowing to win this time.

If there is no available money, a desperate gambler is likely to do a number of things that may be out of character for them.

One of those out-of-character actions could be resorting to stealing.

The possible options for a desperate gambler would be to steal not only from the company but their fellow coworkers.

The adverse effect on the business would be a decrease in morale and individuals fearing for the safety of their possessions.

 

4. Fraud

A desperate gambler, because of the singleness of motivation, may also indulge in straying from the truth.

In their desperation, they may attempt to extract money in a variety of ways including fraudulent activity.

For example, they could fake an accident at work or other places in an effort to take misguided legal action in hopes of obtaining a monetary settlement.

 

5. Embezzlement

Another major concern of an individual’s activity in the workplace who has a gambling problem is outright stealing from the company.

For example, if the individual who has a gambling addiction works within the finance department, billing department, or other departments within the company, the opportunity may present itself to where he would steal from the company.

This embezzlement could be the actual outright stealing from the money when banking deposits are made or the generating of fake invoices to a “dummy” business in order to obtain money from the company that he/she works for.

 

6. Health

Another consideration of a negative impact of gambling on business is that a gambler, because of their obsession with wagering, will often neglect their physical and mental health.

In addition, due to the stress of potential debtors calling, the financial ruin in their own life, etc. all of this would weigh heavily upon an individual’s mind which could increase stress in their life and ultimately excessive stress could lead to high blood pressure, heart condition, or possibly a stroke.

Consequently, a worker with pre-mature health conditions could drive up the insurance costs of the business and have ramifications throughout the company and on its employees due to the possibilities of higher premiums.

 

10 Best Tips to Help Reduce Impact of Gambling on Businesses

 

1. Employee’s Manual

The human resources role in a company is to not only address policies and procedures as it relates to the company’s oversight of its employees but also to anticipate potential challenges that the employee may bring to the workplace.

One of those challenges that an employee may bring to the workplace is compulsive gambling addiction.

The employee’s manual should address this in their manual as one such issue, along with other addictions, that the company wants to assist the individual if and when it becomes a concern.

The manual should indicate to its employees what to be on the lookout for, how to handle such issues, the information provided to help the individual, and indicate complete support by the company to help an individual in meeting those challenges.

 

2. Staff Lounges

Another great way to keep the concerns and challenges, front and center in the workplace and in an individual’s personal life, is to post information in staff lounges.

As part of the posting, it could be a physical notice talking about gambling and steps to take if the various symptoms are recognized.

Also, if the company has an employee’s website, to consistently post such information, steps to take to meet any possible challenges, and to assure the employee that the company is there to help.

 

3. Workplace Training

Many forward-thinking businesses have ongoing employee training.

The training is sometimes work-related but also the training can be regarding personal issues that employees may face.


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One of the topics that can consistently be taught and brought to the attention of the employees are compulsions and in particular gambling, alcohol, etc.

 

4. Discourage Pools

Many companies know about betting pools that are held at the workplace.

Some of these gambling pools can be on sporting events such as the World Series, Super Bowl, Stanley Cup series, etc.

Often, these pools are thought to be a “no harm” activity and in fact, some leaders may participate in these pools.

No matter how you slice it, this is gambling and it would seem that this type of activity should be discouraged and in fact, in the employee’s manual, forbidden.

 

 

5. Policies & Procedures

A great framework to set up that completely outlines the do’s and don’ts and policies and procedures of the company is through a policies and procedures employees manual.

It would be important that one of the policies address gambling and that it is not allowed on the company property.

Also, policy or procedure can be that if an individual identifies himself or herself as having a gambling issue to feel free to approach management to obtain the company’s help in addressing the issue.

The policy should completely be understanding in this situation, demonstrate no condemnation or judgment, and perhaps provide assistance if the individual chooses to attend meetings or sessions to help in overcoming the addiction.

 

6. Identify

As part of the education process, it would be important for all team members to identify and be on the outlook of certain symptoms or actions in which an individual may be struggling with a challenge in their lives.

As it relates to gambling, a broad e-mail or broadcast blast should be sent to all of the employees delineating the various symptoms or actions to be on the outlook for with their company family or team members.

The emphasis should not be about turning people in for disciplinary action but alerting leadership about potential challenges based on the identification of some of the symptoms exhibited.

7. Approaching

If it is determined that an individual, based on their declining work performance and possible exhibition of certain of the compulsive gambling symptoms, should be approached in a professional manner.

The approach should not be accusatory or demanding, but simply a perspective of this is what we are observing and is everything okay and with the affirmation that the company is there to assist the team member.

 

8. Financial Counseling

Another strong indicator of a challenge being faced by a compulsive gambler is that their finances become extremely tight.

Therefore, a compulsive gambler may ask for advances, approach team members asking for loans, etc.

This type of activity and behavior should be brought to the attention of individuals again not for the purpose of discipline and reaction, but as preliminary indicators that something is going on in their personal life and may need to be addressed.

If it is determined that such a condition exists, then the offering by the company to be involved financially through financial counseling, encouragement to reduce their debt, or other practical means can be shared.

 

9. Resources

Another important fact as it relates to addictions is that an individual will not be ready to address their addiction until they are ready to do so.

In the interim, it is important for the business to let the individual know that they are there and offer a variety of resources that the individual can be involved with.

However, the fine line is that there is a business that needs to be run and the business needs all of the employees functioning on all eight cylinders.

Therefore, it is possible, depending upon consultation with HR, that there may need to be disciplinary action, or a possible suspension involved to get the individual’s attention and start them on the path of seeking help.

 

10. Work Place Training for Leadership

Education is key as it relates to recognizing and helping an individual who may be experiencing a gambling problem.

A key component of the company is the leadership team.

Quite possibly, a special teaching session for leadership on identifying and helping individuals challenged with addiction would be warranted.

It would seem that this should be a yearly training course and certainly needs to be handled delicately as it relates to requiring an individual to give their all in the workplace and yet be sensitive to issues that they are addressing personally.

 

4 Best Companies That Help Reduce Impact of Gambling on Businesses

 

1. Gambler’s Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals with the common denominator, other than being part of humanity, struggling with compulsive gambling issues.

The association began informally in January 1957 with the meeting of two men who had an obsession with gambling.

Fortunately, because of their support to each other neither individual returned to gambling.

Subsequently, this association has been helping individuals through this same process of supporting one another, through sponsorships, and helping each other come to grips with their own personal demons.

In many communities, such a group meets and their meeting places and times can be researched and found. Also, added to the convenience of helping one another, virtual meetings can also take place.

Click here to check out Gamblers Anonymous

 

2. Hotline

1-800-522-4700 National Council on Problem Gambling is another resource that an individual can utilize.

By calling this number the individual will be able to direct the caller to a specific resource and referral within their geographical location.

The help is available 24 hours a day and is strictly confidential.

 

3. State Programs

In addition to national available resources, many states also offer a statewide hotline in which the individual can call and have the ability to talk to someone about their situation and receive some sound advice.

 

4. NCPG

The National Council on Problem Gambling is a full resource website that allows the individual to find help within their state, provides the national helpline toll-free number, offers a chat service, take a self-diagnosis screening test, and offer a listing of various treatment facilities in which an individual can get further practical help.

Click here to check out National Council on Problem Gambling

 

Gambling Impacts on Businesses FAQs

 

Why Doesn’t the Government Do More About Gambling Problems?

The government can’t do much as it relates to casinos on tribal territories.

Basically, their hands are tied because the tribes exercise sovereignty on their land and their ability to run casinos.

As it relates to states across the nation, many states are expanding their legislation to allow for an increase in gambling.

This is due to the reality that gambling is a big revenue-generating practice.

 

What Is the Estimated Number of Individuals in America That Have Been Identified as Having a Compulsive Gambling Problem?

According to NCRG, 1% of the adult population in America has a gambling problem.

 

You Can Do It

As a business owner or leader within the business you may be put into a position where the productivity of the business is critical but so is the sensitive involvement with employees that may be over their head as it relates to addiction.

One of those growing addictions in the world today is that of gambling.

However, with the proper education and sensitivity training, the tight rope can be walked as far as the health of the business and the health of the employee.

 

Conclusion

A rise in casinos, online betting sites, and a further move of states to expand the legalities of gambling is also creating and leading to a crisis that involves gambling.

Many individuals are able to control their gambling and keep it in perspective as just a way of having fun and adding a little excitement to their life.

On the other hand, there are those individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have abdicated their control and gambling has become an overwhelming compulsion.

Businesses are going to be on the leading edge of this potential escalating social issue and lead to do their utmost to mitigate the issue, address the issue and balance the needs of the business with the needs of their personnel.


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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!