How Can Employers Recognize a Gambling Problem?
And the BIGGER question is….what help can they offer employees with a gambling addiction?
July 29, 2012
Tomorrow marks the beginning of Responsible Gaming Education Week – July 30th-August 3rd, 2012. I must admit there are times when I’ve been skeptical of the Gaming Industry’s involvement in the preeminent funding mechanism for research in disordered gambling, the NCRG (National Center for Responsible Gaming.) Yes, there have even been times when I’ve gasped at NCRG-funded research espousing clinical findings of “Natural Recovery” in problem gambling; fearing compulsive gamblers may take this as a “free pass” to continue to gamble and await their own natural recovery, while continuing to devastate themselves and their families in anticipation of the miracle of natural recovery.
Today is not one of those days. Having just read the NCRG’s first volume of “Gambling and Health in the Workplace”, I have parked my skepticism; finding this publication to offer valuable information and resources for Employers and Human Resources professionals. The NCRG offers this resource at no charge at ncrg.org/gamblingandhealth
As employers become more aware of the impact of disordered gambling on employees and the potential negative consequences of gambling addiction on workforce well-being, Lanie’s Hope’s vision of ensuring access to affordable and appropriate treatment and support services for anyone impacted by compulsive gambling comes closer to realization. Budget shortfalls have resulted in reduction in funding for problem gambling services across the nation. At the same time, gambling, now legal in 48 states, has become pervasive. The NCRG has taken a great step forward by providing this resource to employers. If you are an employer, read it. Make sure your Human Resources team reads it and implements suggested action plans to educate your workforce. Compulsive gambling is a devastating mental health disorder. Disordered gambling results in higher absenteeism, heightened domestic violence, higher incidence of employee embezzlement and, sometimes, in the ultimate decision of suicide. Treatment works. Making treatment available to your workforce is simply good business.