Preventing and responding to gambling-related harm and crime in the workplace

Open access


AIMS – Problem gambling, even if it occurs in leisure time, can cause harm in the workplace. Problem gamblers are preoccupied with gambling and often suffer from psychiatric and psychosomatic symptoms caused by their excessive gambling. This may lead to inefficiency at work and absenteeism. Severe gambling problems typically lead to a constant need for money, which may result in theft of money or goods from the workplace and in embezzlement. This paper outlines measures to prevent and respond to gambling-related harm and crime in the workplace.

METHODS – A review of the literature and qualitative interviews with therapists specializing in problem gambling treatment, peer counsellors from mutual support societies, recovered problem gamblers who have embezzled, and professionals working in workplace crime security and the prevention of alcohol, drug and gambling harm.

RESULTS – Important measures in preventing and responding to gambling harm in the workplace include: substance use and gambling policy, problem gambling awareness, attention to signs of gambling-related harm, control functions, appropriate responses to harmful gambling, and rehabilitation.

CONCLUSION – The workplace should play a greater role in the universal, selective and indicated prevention of problem gambling.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Alna. (2013). Kulturundersökning 2013. Stockholm: Author. Retrieved from

  • Alna. (2015). Spelförebyggande insatser för arbetslivet. Med fokus på unga vuxna: Fas 1 2 och 3. Stockholm: ALNA & Rodeo. Retreived from

  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Washington DC: Author.

  • Attridge M. & Wallace S. (2009). Hidden hazards: The business response to addictions in the workplace. Vancouver BC Canada: Human Solutions.

  • Bergh C. & Kühlhorn E. (1994). Social psychological and physical consequences of pathological gambling in Sweden. Journal of Gambling Studies 10(3) 275–285. doi:10.1007/BF02104968

  • Binde P. (2016a). Gambling-related employee embezzlement: A study of Swedish newspaper reports. Journal of Gambling Issues (forthcoming).

  • Binde P. (2016b). Gambling-related embezzlement in the workplace: A qualitative study. Manuscript submitted for publication.

  • Blaszczynski A. & McConaghy N. (1994). Criminal offenses in Gamblers Anonymous and hospital treated pathological gamblers. Journal of Gambling Studies 10(2) 99–127. doi:10.1007/BF02109935

  • Blaszczynski A. & Nower L. (2002). A pathways model of problem and pathological gambling. Addiction 97(5) 487–499. doi:10.1046/j.1360-0443.2002.00015.x

  • Blomqvist J. (2009). What is the worst thing you could get hooked on? Popular images of addiction problems in contemporary Sweden. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 26(4) 373–398.

  • Buvik K. (2009). Å gamble med jobben – pengespillproblemer i arbeidslivet. Oslo: AKAN. Retrieved from

  • Cressey D. R. (1973). Other people’s money: A study in the social psychology of embezzlement. New York: The Free Press.

  • Crofts P. (2003). White collar punters: Stealing from the boss to gamble. Current Issues in Criminal Justice 15(1) 40–52.

  • Dahlgren K. (2012). Problematisk spilleatferd i arbeidslivet: Risikofaktorer mulighetsstrukturer og AKAN-modellen. Oslo: AKAN. Retrieved from

  • David & Turner N. E. (2011). The addictiveness of online brokerage services: A first person account. Journal of Gambling Issues 25 113–129. doi:10.4309/jgi.2011.25.9

  • Dellaportas S. (2013). Conversations with inmate accountants: Motivation opportunity and the fraud triangle. Accounting Forum 37(1) 29–39. doi:10.1016/j.accfor.2012.09.003

  • Dorminey J. W. Fleming A. S. Kranacher M.-J. & Riley R. A. Jr. (2010). Beyond the fraud triangle: Enhancing deterrence of economic crimes. The CPA Journal 80(July) 16–23.

  • Folkhälsomyndigheten. (2015). Stödlinjen årsrapport 2014. Östersund: Author.

  • Fox M. Phillips L. & Vaidyanathan G. (2003). Managing Internet gambling in the workplace. First Monday 8(4).

  • Frøyland K. (2011). Hva er tidlig intervensjon? Retrieved from

  • Griffiths M. (2009). Internet gambling in the workplace. Journal of Workplace Learning 21(8) 658–670. doi:10.1108/13665620910996197

  • Hawley C. E. Glenn M. K. & Diaz S. (2007). Problem gambling in the workplace characteristics of employees seeking help. Work: A Journal of Prevention Assessment and Rehabilitation 29(4) 331–340.

  • Hing N. & Gainsbury S. (2013). Workplace risk and protective factors for gambling problems among gambling industry employees. Journal of Business Research 66(9) 1667–1673. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2012.12.013

  • Hodgins D. C. & el-Guebaly N. (2004). Retrospective and prospective reports of precipitants to relapse in pathological gambling. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 72(1) 72–80. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.72.1.72

  • Jadlow J. W. & Mowen J. C. (2010). Comparing the traits of stock market investors and gamblers. Journal of Behavioral Finance 11(2) 67–81. doi:10.1080/15427560.2010.481978

  • Johnson E. E. Hamer R. M. Nora R. M. Tan B. Eisenstein N. & Engelhart C. (1997). The Lie/Bet Questionnaire for screening pathological gamblers. Psychological Reports 80 83–88.

  • Kellaway L. (February 1 2013). The risk addicts. Financial Times. Retrieved from

  • Kelly P. & Hartley C. A. (2010). Casino gambling and workplace fraud: A cautionary tale for managers. Management Research Review 33(3) 224–239. doi:10.1108/01409171011030381

  • Kenber B. (November 24 2012). City traders “gamble on anything even the bra size of a new trainee”. The Times.

  • Källmén H. Leifman H. Hermansson U. & Vinberg S. (2013). The prevalence of alcohol prevention efforts in Swedish workplaces. International Journal of Disability Management 8(e3) 1–7. doi:10.1017/idm.2013.1

  • Ladouceur R. Boisvert J.-M. Pépin M. Loranger M. & Sylvain C. (1994). Social cost of pathological gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies 10(4) 399–409. doi:10.1007/BF02104905

  • Langham E. Thorne H. Browne M. Donaldson P. Rose J. & Rockloff M. (2016). Understanding gambling related harm: A proposed definition conceptual framework and taxonomy of harms. BMC Public Health 16(80). doi:10.1186/s12889-016-2747-0

  • Lesieur H. R. (1984). The chase: Career of the compulsive gambler (2nd ed.). Rochester: Schenkman.

  • Lindstedt N. & Nilsson L. (2015). Med livet som insats. Vision (No. 5) 28–34.

  • Marquet International. (2013). The 2012 Marquet report on embezzlement. Marquet International Ltd.

  • Meyer G. & Stadler M. A. (1999). Criminal behavior associated with pathological gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies 15(1) 29–43. doi:10.1023/A:1023015028901

  • Nower L. (2003). Pathological gamblers in the workplace: A primer for employers. Employee Assistance Quarterly 18(4) 55–72. doi:10.1300/J022v18n04_03

  • Paul R. J. & Townsend J. B. (1998). Managing workplace gambling – Some cautions and recommendations. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 11(3) 171–186. doi:10.1023/A:1027355316884

  • Peterson V. W. (1947). Why honest people steal. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 38(2) 94–103.

  • Productivity Commission. (1999). Australia’s gambling industries: Report No. 10. AusInfo Canberra.

  • Public Health Agency. (2016). Gambling and gambling problems in Sweden 2008–2010 – Swedish Longitudinal Gambling Study Swelogs. Findings from wave one and wave two. Östersund & Stockholm: Author.

  • Ramamoorti S. (2008). The psychology and sociology of fraud: Integrating the behavioral sciences component into fraud and forensic accounting curricula. Issues in Accounting Education 23(4) 521–533. doi:10.2308/iace.2008.23.4.521

  • Ramsay R. D. (1995). Compulsive gambler on the payroll? Supervision 56(12) 6–9.

  • Revheim T. & Buvik K. (2009). Opportunity structure for gambling and problem gambling among employees in the transport industry. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction 7(1) 217–228. doi:10.1007/s11469-008-9179-8

  • Rousseau F. L. Vallerand R. J. Ratelle C. F. Mageau G. A. & Provencher P. J. (2002). Passion and gambling: On the validation of the gambling passion scale (GPS). Journal of Gambling Studies 18(1) 45–66. doi:10.1023/A:1014532229487

  • Schwer R. K. Thompson W. N. & Nakamuro D. (2003). Beyond the limits of recreation: Social costs of gambling in southern Nevada. Las Vegas NV: 2003 Annual Meeting of the Far West and American Popular Culture Association.

  • Smith G. & Simpson R. (2014). Gambling addiction defence on trial: Canadian expert witness perspectives. International Journal of Criminology and Sociology 3 319–326. doi:10.6000/1929-4409.2014.03.27

  • Statens folkhälsoinstitut. (2012). Spel om pengar och spelproblem i Sverige 2009/2010: Resultat från Swelogs ettårsuppföljning. Östersund: Author.

  • Sutherland E. H. (1949). White collar crime. New York: Dryden Press.

  • Svensson J. Romild U. & Shepherdson E. (2013). The concerned significant others of people with gambling problems in a national representative sample in Sweden – a 1 year follow-up study. BMC Public Health 13(1087). doi: :10.1186/1471-2458-13-1087

  • Thompson W. N. Gazel R. & Rickman D. (1996). The social costs of gambling in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Report 9(6).

  • Wardle H. Moody A. Spence S. Orford J. Volberg R. Jotangia D. . . . Dobbie F. (2011). British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010. London: National Centre for Social Research.

  • Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. (2014a). Discussion paper. Gambling and the workplace: The issue its impacts and actions for employers. Melbourne: Author.

  • Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. (2014b). Gambling in the workplace: Guidelines for developing a workplace gambling policy. Melbourne: Author.

  • Warfield B. (2011). Gambling motivated fraud in Australia 2008–2010. Sydney: Warfield & Associates.

  • Warfield B. (2013). Employee fraud in Australian financial institutions. Sydney: Warfield & Associates.

  • Williams R. J. West B. L. & Simpson R. I. (2012). Prevention of problem gambling: A comprehensive review of the evidence and identified best practices. Report prepared for the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

  • Williams R. J. Volberg R. A. & Stevens R. M. G. (2012). The population prevalence of problem gambling: Methodological influences standardized rates jurisdictional differences and worldwide trends. Report prepared for the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.683
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.752

CiteScore 2018: 0.64

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.313
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.456

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 84 37 2
PDF Downloads 61 39 0