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While often perceived as a harmless, fun leisure activity, gambling is associated with a range of harms. These harms extend beyond people who gamble themselves, to their families and others around them as well as communities. Gambling has the potential to become highly addictive and an uncontrollable urge to gamble can infiltrate working hours and impact on work quality leading to negative impacts on colleagues and the organisation as a whole.

Estimates suggest that there are around 18,000 “problem” gamblers in Wales – people whose gambling behaviour is already causing them significant harm – and around another 76,000 people at risk of becoming “problem” gamblers. Gambling can lead to debt and create stress, impacting on mental health.

There are many ways “problem” gambling can have negative effects not only on the person suffering from it but colleagues around them as well:

  • Reduced productivity – employees who gamble are more likely to be easily distracted, unreliable and unable to work effectively
  • Low morale – if a colleague’s gambling is impacting on their productivity or reliability, this can lead to resentment and low morale within their team
  • Reputational risk – the impact can extend to customers, the public or other stakeholders the organisation works with and lead to risks to the company’s reputation
  • Increased absence – employees who are “problem” gamblers are more likely to take extended breaks or sickness absence to focus on their gambling activities
  • Risk of theft and fraud – employees may steal or fraudulently obtain company resources to fund their addiction or pay off gambling-related debt.

This web page is currently under development. More information, including practical guidance and resources and signposting to services, will be coming soon.