GamCare Wants More Support for At-Risk Employees Before Euro 2024

Leading, independent provider of information, advice, and support for anyone affected by gambling harms, GamCare, has urged employers to be prepared to offer additional support to staff members who are vulnerable to gambling addiction just ahead of the much-anticipated start of Euro 2024.

Safe Spaces and a 5-Step Plan for At-Risk Employees 

The UK charity founded by Paul Bellringer in 1997 has urged employers to open safe spaces where their staff members can freely discuss any gambling addiction problems they might encounter while directing them to the appropriate services for practical solutions. 

The charity whose National Gambling Helpline received more than 52,000 calls in 2023 alone also introduced a five-step plan for employers. 

The plan would encourage more support while provoking discussion on the potential harms of gambling.

As an initial step, employers would need to implement Human Resources policies similar to alcohol, mental health, or drug policies to present staff with open spaces where they can reveal their gambling addictions. 

Secondly, line managers would undergo training to support employees by directing them towards support services including the National Gambling Helpline.

The third step is the creation of internal support networks to dissipate the stigma around gambling harms.

Fourthly, employers must be cautious when creating sweepstakes

Lastly, the charity urges employers to be aware of the fact that gambling harms not only don’t affect gamblers but also their friends and family, which means they require different support.

Raising More Gambling Awareness, “An Important Step Forward”

GamCare’s head of remote support services, Samantha Turton, highlighted that the discrete manner in which gambling addiction presents itself makes it essential for employers to open avenues for at-risk punters to ask for help at the workplace.

Turton added that workplaces should be next in line to follow 2023’s decision to have general practitioners engage in talks regarding gambling with their patients

She added that bringing more awareness on the topic of gambling at workplaces would be an “important step forward” and also a “win-win for organizations and staff” alike.

Namely, employees would feel more engaged and supported while working while employers would reap the benefits of having a “happier, healthier workforce” while also preventing gambling-related crimes

The formulation of the five-step plan was based on fresh research on addiction in the UK, along with the lack of gambling support in the workplace.

According to YouGov, only 9% of employees had support for at-risk gamblers at their workplaces in the context of 47% of employees claiming their workplaces had mental health policies in place.

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