Problem Gambling in the Workplace: Start the Conversation in March

In recognition of Problem Gambling Awareness Month, DePaul’s National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Rochester Area (NCADD-RA) joins the New York Council on Problem Gambling (NYCPG) to raise awareness about the connections between problem gambling and problems in the workplace.

Now a mainstream activity in our communities, gambling opportunities are making their way into the workplace. Nearly 668,000 adults in New York State (or five percent) are struggling with a gambling problem. Problem gambling causes not only financial issues, but also other problems such as other addiction issues, depression, suicide, and decreased productivity at work.

The effects of problem gambling on the workplace include a loss of time, loss of productivity, and more extreme effects such as theft, fraud and embezzlement. It’s important that employers and the workforce are educated about the warning signs of problem gambling, and that employee assistance programs are prepared to assist those struggling.

Warning signs of problem gambling in the workplace include:

  • Deterioration of work performance
  • Frequent, unexplained absences from work
  • Preoccupation with gambling opportunities in the workplace such as sports pools, betting opportunities, etc.
  • Frequently borrowing money from coworkers, or arguing with coworkers about financial issues
  • Requests for pay in advance, or cashing in retirement or vacation time
  • Mood swings or a change in personality
  • Verbalizing the negative effects of gambling on one’s life

Problem gambling affects not only the individual who is gambling, but also their loved ones, affecting between eight and 10 additional people, including family, friends and coworkers. That equates to an additional 6.7 million people in New York who are affected by problem gambling!

Start the conversation with your family members. Let’s all do our part to help raise awareness about how problem gambling affects people in their workplace.

Additionally, NCADD-RA is once again partnering with NYCPG to support the YOU(th) Decide project in Monroe County. YOU(th) Decide is an effort to prevent underage and problem gambling. NCADD-RA has been a part of this project, since its inception eight years ago.

YOU(th) Decide is designed to be a multi-dimensional prevention effort aimed at reducing underage gambling. NCADD-RA provides, upon request, educational outreach and presentations for youth, parents to share the risks and for community leaders to decrease youth availability to gambling activities.

If you, your child, your school or community group would like more information about problem gambling or would like to get involved, contact Jennifer Faringer, Director of NCADD-RA at jfaringer@depaul.org or call (585) 719-3480. Find out more about our local efforts as well as resources at https://ncadd.depaulserver.info/awareness-campaigns/underage-gambling. To learn more about statewide efforts, visit YOUthDecideNY.org.