With “Game week 1” of the Barclays Premier League finalising, comes a swarm of eager fans casting their predictions on the winners and losers for the 2019/2020 season in the hope of making an extra pound or two on top of their pay packet.
In a world of TV, high street, and constant radio advertisement it is hard to escape the pressure of cashing in on some favourable odds. The heavy reliance and usage of smartphones and social media has only increased the delusion of a 3/1 bet on Liverpool to finally win the Premier League.
Shockingly over half of the Premier League football teams will be sponsored by gambling sites by the 2020/2021 season. The advertisement of gambling sites is becoming all too easy and is not helped by the 2005 ‘Gambling Act’ which has since become outdated with the mass adoption of smartphones and internet based gambling which has made gambling easier than ever to access.
Although there has been some form of gambling prevention with the popular “When the FUN STOPS STOP” campaign by ‘gambleaware.com’, there is little to no obvious support for those who are already affected by this form of addiction. The deputy labour leader Tom Watson says “Problem gambling is Britain’s hidden epidemic”. This is echoed by the statistic of 400,000 known gamblers in the UK and the further two million of low to moderate risk problem gamblers.
The financial strain gambling addiction causes, can lead to depression, anxiety, it can impact self-esteem and can have a negative effect on work performance and productivity. It is vital that a business owner or member of senior management recognises that gambling addiction is a problem which could affect anyone within the workplace and that the correct services are in place and easily accessible to those who are affected.
There are two main areas in which your business can offer support for gambling addiction. The first is to provide emotional support for those who are affected and are actively looking for help. An easy way to achieve this is provide a dedicated area on your website with relevant information on how to combat financial strain issues and mental health issues. A simple way is to provide direct links to websites like ‘supportline.org.uk‘ which give a range of support lines for various issues. Finally it is vital that the employee is made to feel that his or her environment is supportive of the issues they are facing and that what is disclosed is kept confidential.
The second area of support is providing a form of practical solutions to affected employees. There are various services for employees who are emotionally ready, to now tackle the financial aspect of their problem. There are a number of providers employers can seek out who can provide financial support in the form of advice and loans which would not have been previously available to regular employees.
Heading into the new football season it is more important than ever for employers to be aware of employees who could be potentially suffering from a gambling addiction. If you would like more information on how to give the correct support and advice to your employees or colleagues, please contact us today.
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