Gambling and employment

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Our new report into gambling reveals the scale of the challenge faced by those who are in work or looking to get back into work.

Online research conducted by the polling company YouGov shows that more than one in four working adults who gamble (28%) across Great Britain would prefer to keep the extent of their gambling hidden from their colleagues. The problem is particularly acute in the finance, accountancy and legal sectors, where more than a third (34%) worry about their work colleagues finding out about their gambling.

The report calls for businesses to take more action to support staff who may struggle with problem gambling and for employment support programmes to do more to identify the early signs of gambling addiction.

Almost three quarters of people surveyed (72%) think that businesses should be concerned about the negative impact of gambling on their employees.

Unemployed people are twice as likely to use controversial Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, one of the major growth areas for high street betting shops, as those who are in work (8% vs 4%). With an estimated 35,000 machines across the UK, bets of up to £100 can be placed every 20 seconds, meaning a problem gambler could lose up to £1,500 in just five minutes.

Regional Figures

  • In London, 43% of people have gambled in the last 12 months, and 13% know someone for whom gambling has affected their work.
  • Scotland has the most frequent gamblers, where more than a quarter of adults (28%) gamble at least once a week, over five times the numbers of adults in the South West of England (5%). Over a third (37%) of people in Scotland would like to hide their gambling from colleagues, compared to just 12% in the West Midlands and the highest region in Great Britain.
  • In the North West, 43% of people have gambled in the last 12 months, and nearly one third (32%) would like to hide their gambling from their colleagues.
  • In Wales, nearly half the population (49%) have gambled in the last 12 months, the second highest region in Great Britain and over a third (35%) would like to hide their gambling from work colleagues, the third highest region in the UK and nearly three times as many as those in the West Midlands (12%).
  • In the North East, more than half (57%) of the population have gambled in the last 12 months, the highest region in Great Britain and compared to just a third (34%) in the South West. Over a quarter (26%) in the North East have gambled in the last week, the highest region in England.
  • 16% of people in Yorkshire & Humber know someone for whom gambling has affected their work, the highest region in Great Britain and more than three times in the West Midlands (5%).

Downloads

Download our full report here
Download our summary leaflet here