Government of New Brunswick

How does a gambling problem show up at work?

Often it doesn’t, or at least not until the problem has become a crisis. There are no obvious symptoms, like the slurred speech of someone who is drunk or the changed personality of someone who is high on drugs. The problem gambler is usually skilled at keeping up appearances.

Problem gambling is often overlooked because no one is looking for it.

Warning signs

The following signs could indicate a gambling problem:

  • Irregular work hours. Sometimes the gambler will work longer days than usual, to earn overtime pay in order to replace “borrowed” funds
  • Excessive time spent on personal phone calls
  • Poor concentration
  • Stress, poor health. As debts mount and the addiction takes hold, they may suffer from depression, insomnia, loss of appetite, headaches, stomach problems, and high blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Gambling at work. Especially in the early stages, the person may organize office pools, play cards during breaks, or challenge co-workers with bets about news events, the weather, or a co-worker’s expected baby
  • Cash advances, loans
  • Discomfort when talking about finances
  • Personal bills received at work. In an effort to conceal expenditures from spouse, the gambler redirects credit card statements and bills to a work address
  • Phone calls from credit agencies received at work
  • Problems at home
  • Theft