Gambling addiction in the workplace

How can I identify gambling addiction in the workplace?

Henry Lesieur, Ph.D. observed the following behaviors in the workplace as being correlated with a gambling addiction:

  • Excessive use of telephones (to call bookmakers, stockbrokers or to obtain credit)
  • Taking the company vehicle to the race track, card room, casino, etc. (parking tickets near gambling locations are a "red flag")
  • Absences from work, often for part of the day (typically after lunch)
  • Arriving late for work (related to all-night card games, casino trips, anxiety-related sleep disturbances)
  • Vacation days taken on isolated days rather than in weeks (or vacations taken to gambling locations on a regular basis)
  • Failure to take days off (obsessed with getting money to pay gambling debts or afraid to take a day off because of a fear that embezzlement or fraud will be discovered in their absence)
  • Changes in productivity (which seem to be related to mood swings)
  • Organizing office pools and gambling junkets
  • Borrowing money from co-workers or arguing with co-workers over failure to pay debts
  • Embezzlement, defrauding customers or engaging in employee theft for resale

Excerpted from research: Recognizing Internet Addiction. Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery (Peoria, IL); 2005.

A Guide for Families of Problem Gamblers



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