By Barry Lord @Bazneto
A third of those who gamble in their spare time – but who work in finance, accountancy and legal sectors, are worried about co-workers finding out their secret habit, a survey has revealed.
The problem is so concerning to Britain’s economic prosperity, that research is taking place on a diagnostic tool known as the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) to check if workers are at risk of becoming addicted to gambling and then a service is set up to offer advice and direction to appropriate services.
Online research conducted by the polling company YouGov showed that more than one in four employed adults who gamble (28%) across Great Britain would prefer not to reveal their gambling problem to their colleagues.
Whether employed or otherwise, there is a personal price to be paid for having a gambling addiction, especially in the workplace, the report has highlighted.
Reed in Partnership, a public service provider based in the UK, revealed the extent of the challenge faced by those currently in employment as well as those seeking a way back into the job market.
More than a third of working adults who gamble in Scotland (37%) would prefer to hide their gambling from work colleagues, higher than those in other regions such as the West Midlands (12%).
In fact, according to regional figures, Scotland has the most frequent gamblers, where more than a quarter of adults (28%) gamble at least once a week, over five times the numbers of adults in the South West of England.
The report has called for businesses to be proactive and support staff that may struggle with gambling and enforce strict workplace gambling policies while ensuring a commitment to addressing the detrimental impact on employees’ wellbeing.
It’s also suggested that employment support programmes could do more to identify the tell-tale signs in a person’s behaviour that may indicate addiction problems.
The issue is not just affecting Scotland’s economy, but the UK economy as a whole.
3% of adults are reported to know someone who has lost their job as a result of problem gambling, and many are unable to find work because of their compulsive behaviour, or in some cases because they cannot afford the bus or train fare to attend a job interview, let alone pay for a business suit.
One of Reed in Partnership’s employment advisers, who works with the long term unemployed, said: “Jobseekers already struggle when on JSA (Job Seeker’s Allowance) to make ends meet and by gambling they are entering a vicious circle which can be hard to break and cause debt, black listing or even crime.”
The survey was conducted online by YouGov polling 2,042 adults.