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Gambling-related embezzlement in the workplace: A qualitative study

Journal article
Authors Per Binde
Published in International Gambling Studies
Volume 16
Issue 3
Pages 391-407
ISSN 1445-9795
Publication year 2016
Published at School of Global Studies, Social Anthropology
Pages 391-407
Language en
Keywords speberoende, spelproblem, spelmissbruk, förebygga, prevention, arbetslivet, förskingring, ekonomisk brottslighet, problem gambling, disordered gambling, pathological gambling, workplace, prevention, embezzlement, crime
Subject categories Public health science, Substance Abuse, Social Anthropology


People with severe gambling problems typically first spend all their available money on gambling and then resort to borrowing, selling personal property and other ways of procuring more money for gambling. Some problem gamblers commit economic crimes. This investigation examined gambling-related embezzlement in the workplace, an aspect of problem gambling that may severely harm the gambler, significant others and the employer. The methods used are the study of newspaper articles and qualitative interviews with 18 informants, including professionals in workplace security and drug-use prevention, therapists specializing in problem gambling treatment, counsellors from mutual support societies, and recovered problem gamblers who had embezzled. Gambling-related embezzlement often progresses in a characteristic sequence shaped by specific processes in which the gambler’s thoughts and emotions interact systemically with the monetary losses caused by participating in commercial gambling and the opportunity to embezzle money in the workplace. In this study, criminological theory of white collar crime usefully complemented psychological theories of problem gambling. It is concluded that a processual perspective, in addition to consideration of psychological and environmental factors, is valuable for understanding the progression to severe problem gambling.

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