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The Cost of Betting in the Boardroom

3 min read

Recognizing Problem Gambling and Promoting Responsible Gambling

In the high-pressure world of corporate boardrooms, executives are constantly making critical decisions that impact their companies and personal lives. Amidst this stress, the allure of gambling can become a dangerous temptation, leading to problem gambling that can have profound consequences.

Recognizing Problem Gambling in the Boardroom:

Financial Distress

Executives grappling with problem gambling often hide their financial troubles. They may take substantial risks in their investments, engage in reckless financial behavior or misuse company funds.

Increased Absences and Lateness

Frequent and unexplained absences or tardiness can be a sign of problem gambling. Executives may be chasing losses, impacting their ability to meet professional obligations.

Secrecy and Lies

Lying about gambling activities and financial losses is common among problem gamblers. Deceitful behavior can strain relationships with colleagues and compromise the trust that is essential in leadership roles.

Deterioration in Leadership Skills

Problem gambling can lead to a decline in leadership qualities. Executives may lose focus, become more irritable and exhibit poor decision-making skills.

Risk-Taking Behavior

A heightened appetite for risk can lead to impulsive business decisions, jeopardizing the organization’s stability and personal investments.

Suggestions for Responsible Gambling

Education and Awareness

Raise awareness about problem gambling and its potential impact on the boardroom. Provide executives with information about recognizing the signs of gambling addiction and the importance of responsible gambling.

Voluntary Self-Exclusion

Explore voluntary self-exclusion programs. These initiatives allow individuals to voluntarily ban themselves from gambling for a specified duration. This can be a protective measure when the temptation to gamble becomes overwhelming.

Mandatory Policy

Consider implementing a clear and comprehensive responsible gambling policy within the organization. This policy should include guidelines for executives and employees, addressing issues like time and financial limits for gambling activities.

Confidential Support Services

“Although the vast majority of employers have substance abuse policies to help them guide how the problems and issues are addressed in the workplace, gambling policies aren’t very common,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling in Washington, D.C.

Ensure that the organization offers confidential support services, such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), where executives can seek counseling and guidance for gambling-related concerns without fear of professional repercussions.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Foster a corporate culture emphasizing work-life balance, reducing the stressors that may lead to problem gambling.

Problem gambling in the boardroom is a hidden crisis with profound implications for individuals and their organizations. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of problem gambling and implementing effective solutions for responsible gambling, these risks can be mitigated. Promoting awareness, support services and responsible policies can create a safer, more productive environment where executives and employees can thrive personally and professionally without succumbing to the allure of gambling’s pitfalls.

Where to Find Help

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, contact the 24/7 Arkansas Problem Gambling Helpline at 1800-GAMBLER. Speak to a referral specialist for outpatient treatment services.

Arkansas Problem Gambling Council
arpgcouncil.org | 501-403-2321
National Council on Problem Gambling
ncpgambling.org | 1800-GAMBLER
Gamblers Anonymous
National Alliance on Mental Illness-Arkansas
1800-844-0318 (Crisis Helpline)
Written by: Vena Schexnayder, ARPG Council Executive Director
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