Betknowmore, a U.K. charity focused on combatting gambling-related harms, said it’s aiming to expand a program that will help companies handle gambling concerns amongst employees to industry participants.
The program, known as Work Safe, is scheduled to roll out in January next year. It has predominantly been designed for human resource and well-being teams outside of the industry to spot the signs of gambling at work. The program will be launched through the charity’s training arm.
“With the gambling industry we hadn’t thought to go into it straight away, but we’ve had more and more conversations saying what about us,” said Stephen Olley, who heads the program.
Operators have spoken to the charity explaining that while they have responsible gambling measures in place, it’s more focused on the well-being of clients and are now asking as employers themselves.
“We have heard about gambling in the gambling industry,” said Matt Smith, head of External Affairs at the organisation. “It’s probably a bit taboo at times as it’s the gambling industry looking at gambling problems internally, but you have to give them credit for actually doing something about this.”
Olley says that if your employees are a typical slice of the U.K. population, then you are going to have one-in-ten somehow affected by gambling, whether they have been diagnosed as having a problem, are at risk, or whether they are an affected other.
More responsible gambling research needed
Some research has suggested that financial services and construction industries have higher risk levels for mental harm in general and gambling in particular. However, there still has not been enough research done to drill down into whether particular industries are more at risk than others.
The program is a mix of face-to-face and e-learning, together with pamphlets and fliers to provide information on gambling harms. It aims to help employers understand how to identify signs of gambling harm and how to approach and communicate with the employee.
Olley said that on the whole it is easier to approach the industry with the program as they are already much more aware of the potential risks than people in other industries.
The organization has already done a demonstration program with the Racecourse Media Group, which had attracted interest.
“I think the industry would like to do something around this. It’s not just about protecting their customers, it’s about protecting their employees,” Smith said. “From going to industry events and conferences, this is something the industry is talking about. They are not forgetting about their employees’ health and wellbeing.”
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