Workplace gambling awareness

GamCare urges employers to support at-risk staff ahead of Euro 2024

Reading time 2:05 min

As Euro 2024 approaches, gambling support charity GamCare has issued a call to employers to enhance support mechanisms for workers susceptible to gambling addiction. GamCare is advocating for workplaces to establish safe environments where staff can discuss gambling-related issues and access support services.

With the tournament set to begin next week, GamCare has proposed a five-step plan for employers to address gambling harms among their workforce.

Samantha Turton, head of remote support services at GamCare, emphasized the need for discrete channels for at-risk individuals to seek help, especially within the workplace. "Last year we saw steps for more GPs to ask questions from patients around gambling, which is an important step forward," Turton stated.

"We believe workplaces could be the next place to create more awareness about gambling and could be a win-win for organizations and staff, with people feeling more supported and engaged at work and organizations benefitting from a happier, healthier workforce." Turton also noted that increased workplace awareness could prevent gambling-related crimes, thereby protecting both employees and businesses.

GamCare’s five-step policy includes implementing HR policies that provide spaces for staff to disclose gambling addictions, akin to existing policies for drugs, alcohol, or mental health issues. It also recommends training line managers to support staff by directing them to services such as the National Gambling Helpline.

Additionally, creating internal support networks is suggested to reduce the stigma around gambling harms by increasing education and support within the workplace. With the Euros coming up, GamCare advised employers to be cautious when organizing workplace sweepstakes, particularly around major sporting events like the tournament.

Finally, GamCare highlighted the importance of recognizing that gambling harms can affect not just gamblers but also their friends and family, who may need different support.

GamCare’s advice is underpinned by recent findings on gambling addiction in the UK. A YouGov study revealed that only 9% of people had access to gambling support in their workplace, compared to 47% with mental health policies. This gap persists despite Public Health England's estimate that 1.6 million people in England struggle with gambling.

The GamCare-operated National Gambling Helpline identified work difficulties as a significant consequence of gambling addiction. The YouGov study also found that only 28% of problem gamblers would feel comfortable disclosing their issues to their employer, whereas 57% would tell friends, and 42% would confide in family.

In a related move, French gambling regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has launched a campaign to prevent problem gambling ahead of Euro 2024. The ANJ estimates that nearly €1 billion could be wagered on the tournament, with research indicating that 35% of France's population plans to bet on the event.

The campaign will emphasize the risks of excessive gambling, featuring prominent warnings in advertisements and directing individuals to the Evalujeu site for support.

"The ANJ wishes to make an impact with its campaign which aims to make people understand that legal notices on advertisements are not only a legal obligation but that they contain stories of players’ lives, testimonials on the risks linked to excessive gambling such as those we receive every day at the ANJ," stated ANJ president Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin.

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