New Slider For Professionals Problem gambling affects a number of professions, and Minnesota is fortunate to have skilled professionals to assist with recovery. Resources for professional

Additional information on how you can assist in recovery is available to professionals including:

Law Enforcement

Left untreated, problem gambling can quickly spiral into criminal activity once legal sources of income have been exhausted. According to the Oregon Department of Health Services, two in three individuals with a gambling disorder eventually commit crimes to pay off debts or to continue gambling.

It is important that law enforcement and correctional systems professionals understand the nature of problem gambling and its role as a precursor to criminal activities such as:

  • Embezzlement or fraud
  • Theft or robbery
  • Illegal drug use, possession, or trafficking
  • Domestic violence or assault
  • Underground betting pools and arenas

To better equip your staff and fully familiarize yourself with the issue, consider finding a counselor in your area to work with, or obtain materials that provide an overview of the problem and its impact on individuals and affected others.

Human Resources

A gambling disorder can have a variety of negative impacts on the workplace, ranging from decreased employee productivity to theft, embezzlement or fraud.

To determine whether an employee is struggling with a gambling problem, consider the following warning signs:

  • Extended breaks or absences from work
  • Increased stress, emotional upset
  • Requests for pay advances or cash for unused PTO
  • Bragging about winnings from gambling
  • Anger and/or irritation
  • Declines in productivity
  • Secretiveness, frequent phone calls
  • Salary garnishments or other signs of financial distress

Employers and co-workers are often in the unique position to recognize a potential gambling problem, provide intervention resources and potentially assist in the recovery process. Consider these steps to mitigate the potential impact of problem gambling on your organization:

  • Provide management training about how to identify and address a potential gambling problem
  • Provide awareness training and confidential resources for all employees
  • Develop a company gambling policy around casual betting, office pools, brackets and other sports betting that takes place on premises during work hours.

Find a counselor to work with in your area or download materials in order to better equip your organization.

To watch a brief video on starting a conversation with an employee, click here.

Legal

Legal professionals can find themselves faced with an individual or family experiencing a financial or legal matter due to a gambling problem. It’s important to recognize that problem gambling can lead to a wide array of legal issues such as:

  • Personal bankruptcy
  • Business bankruptcy
  • Debt collections
  • Foreclosures
  • Delinquent taxes
  • Divorce
  • Child custody and support
  • Theft or embezzlement
  • Bad checks or markers
  • Charges related to drugs and alcohol (high rates of substance abuse among problem gamblers)
  • Traffic violations or warrants
  • Insurance or tax fraud

Despite these significant pressures, an individual with a gambling problem may feel their only way out is to continue gambling. Even though many who struggle with a problem gambling have no prior criminal history, when all legitimate sources of money have been exhausted, they may be motivated to commit a crime out of a desperate need to fund their disorder or pay off gambling debts.

Find a counselor to work with in your area or have materials sent to you in order to better equip yourself and help start the conversation.

Given the unique stressors associated with law practice, as well as ready access to settlement proceeds, legal retainers or other funds, it’s worth noting that legal professionals themselves may also be vulnerable to problem gambling.

Concerned about your own gambling? Contact Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) at 866-525-6466 or www.mnlcl.org.  LCL provides free, confidential peer and professional assistance to Minnesota lawyers, judges, law students, and their immediate family members.

Health Care Professionals

Regardless of their practice area, it is important for health care professionals to understand what characteristics to look for and what questions to ask to diagnose a gambling disorder. Symptoms of a gambling disorder may not be obvious; however, significant stress, clinical depression, secondhand smoke exposure and a sedentary lifestyle are often factors, in addition to co-occurring tobacco, alcohol, or chemical addictions. To help assess whether an individual may have a gambling problem, be aware of the following warning signs:

  • Gambling longer than planned
  • Gambling until the last dollar is gone
  • Thoughts of gambling preoccupy daily life
  • Bills begin to go unpaid
  • Attempts to stop gambling are unsuccessful
  • Criminal activity to fuel gambling
  • Borrowing money from friends and family
  • Feelings of depression or suicide after losing
  • Feelings of remorse after gambling
  • Gambling to meet financial obligations

If your patient may have a gambling problem, consider referring them to a qualified treatment provider, or visit our resources page to download materials.

Gaming Management

Gaming-related establishments have an opportunity to identify issues and promote responsible gaming programs. The Responsible Gambling Council has developed an index for gaming venues. The standards are designed to provide objective and independent benchmarks for the content, quality and breadth of the “responsible gambling” programs designed and delivered by gaming companies.

To help determine if one of your guests may have a gambling problem, it’s important to understand the following key behaviors and warning signs:

  • Gambling longer than planned
  • Excessive time spent on the gaming floor
  • Gambling until the last dollar is gone
  • Frequent ATM withdrawals in a single visit
  • Excessive drinking while gambling

While both casino guests and those working within the industry may be vulnerable to gambling disorders, the effects can be devastating:

  • Thoughts of gambling preoccupy daily life
  • Bills begin to go unpaid
  • Attempts to stop gambling are unsuccessful
  • Criminal activity to fuel gambling
  • Borrowing money from friends and family
  • Feelings of depression or suicide after losing
  • Feelings of remorse after gambling
  • Gambling to meet financial obligations

If you suspect your guest or employee may have a gambling problem, consider referring them to a qualified treatment provider. To make sure you have helpful information on hand, visit our resources page to download materials.

Gambling Treatment Counselors

Therapeutic counselors and treatment providers play a key role in a client’s recovery, identifying barriers and helping those in the process overcome personal obstacles.

Because an individual may not recognize or be forthcoming about their own behaviors, it’s important that practitioners less familiar with the signs of a gambling disorder recognize both the symptoms and potential comorbidities:

  • Feelings of depression or suicide
  • Anger and/or irritation
  • Increased stress, emotional upset
  • Evasive responses/secretiveness
  • Signs of financial distress
  • Heavy use of alcohol/recreational drugs/smoking

Other behaviors common to those struggling with gambling disorders:

  • Gambling longer than planned
  • Gambling until the last dollar is gone
  • Thoughts of gambling preoccupy daily life
  • Bills begin to go unpaid
  • Attempts to stop gambling are unsuccessful
  • Criminal activity to fuel gambling
  • Borrowing money from friends and family
  • after losing
  • Feelings of remorse after gambling
  • Gambling to meet financial obligations

Treatment is available, and, for qualified individuals, funded by the State of Minnesota. The Minnesota Problem Gambling Helpline – 1-800-333-4673 (HOPE) – is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This helpline offers free, confidential assistance from counselors trained in crisis intervention. Anyone can call the helpline about their own gambling or their concern for someone else.

Other resources available to you include:

Related Minnesota gambling help:

Financial

Finance professionals can be among the first to be exposed to signs of a client’s potential gambling problem. Should an individual exhibit erratic financial or personal behaviors, understanding the signs of a gambling problem can prepare you to connect your client with the help she or he may need.

Key Warning Signs

  • Personal or business bankruptcy
  • Debt collections/delinquent taxes/foreclosures
  • Divorce
  • Delinquent child custody and support
  • Record of theft or embezzlement
  • Bad checks or markers
  • Charges related to drugs and alcohol (high rates of substance abuse among problem gamblers)
  • Traffic violations or warrants
  • Past insurance or tax fraud

Personal behaviors associated with a gambling disorder:

  • Personal or business bankruptcy
  • Debt collections/delinquent taxes/foreclosures
  • Divorce
  • Delinquent child custody and support
  • Record of theft or embezzlement
  • Bad checks or markers
  • Charges related to drugs and alcohol (high rates of substance abuse among problem gamblers)
  • Traffic violations or warrants
  • Past insurance or tax fraud

If you suspect your client may have a gambling problem, consider referring them to a qualified treatment provider or visit our resources page to have materials.

Behavioral Health

A gambling disorder describes any form of gambling that results in functional consequences. In the DSM-V, gambling disorder is classified as a non-substance related addictive disorder; and can commonly co-occur with substance abuse, mood disorders, depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders.

Current diagnostic criteria for gambling disorder can include persistent and recurrent problematic gambling behavior leading to clinically significant impairment or distress. Individuals exhibiting four (or more) of the following in a 12-month period would be included:

  • Needs to gamble with increasing amounts of money in order to achieve the desired excitement
  • Is restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling
  • Has made repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling
  • Is often preoccupied with gambling (such as having persistent thoughts of reliving past gambling experiences, handicapping or planning the next venture, thinking of way to get money with which to gamble)
  • Often gambles when feeling distressed (helpless, guilty, anxious, depressed)
  • After losing money gambling often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses)
  • Lies to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling
  • Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job or educational opportunity because of gambling
  • Relies on others to provide money to relieve a desperate financial situation caused by gambling

Find a treatment provider to work with in your area or have materials sent to you to better equip yourself and help start the conversation.