Problem gambling can be all consuming for individuals, and if your primary focus is on the next bet rather than the day-to-day work that you’re tasked with undertaking, both the individual and their organization can suffer.
For Problem Gambling Awareness Month, our US-based staff have been providing us with an insight into their lives when they were experiencing gambling harm, with three of them admitting that their work was compromised by their ongoing wagering, which helps to explain our focus theme of the week: adverse effect on performance.
Hear directly from our three contributors by clicking here to watch our powerful awareness video on our YouTube channel, or read their recollections below…
Patrick Chester (main photo): “I was in the landscape construction industry. Clients trusted me. I had a good reputation.
“They were turning over 15, 20, 30, $40,000 checks to me as project deposits for big landscape projects at their home. I was consistently betting 5, 10, 15, $20,000 on games, but nobody knew about it but me.
“When I would sit down with a client and we would sign a contract, I would look them in the eye and say, ‘I will see your project through to completion, and we’ll be on schedule and on budget’. What they didn’t know was, in the back of my mind, I knew that I was going to take half of that $20,000 or half of that $40,000 and go gamble with it.
“By 2011, I had over 15 clients that I owed anywhere from $3,000 to $40,000 to, and they were threatening to, to come after me. In fact, I had one client who had spent five years in prison who told me one day that if you don’t pay me back by such and such a date, I will send people after you.”
Dan Trolaro: “I would meet my quotas, meet my targets, and once I would meet them, I would tune out and turn off my work. I would often meet my goals within eight and a half months, because I wanted to see if I could meet my goal before the start of the NFL season. So if the year started January 1st, I had to meet my goal by September 1st. Often it was around September 15th when I finished my goal, and for the entire football season, I would do the bare minimum of work, maybe about 10 hours a week.
“I would just handicap football games: college, pro… games every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday games, sometimes you get a midweek game. And then I would just bet on sports and I would play card games when I wasn’t betting on sports. Gambling became my life. I started losing a lot of my own money, a lot of savings.”
Ryan Tatusko: “I would be on sales calls with three monitors in front of me. I would have a live sporting event going on one.
“I would have my sports book going on in the middle, and then I would have my actual demonstration call that I was supposed to be selling on a third monitor, doing all three things simultaneously throughout the entire day, gambling anywhere between $2,500 to $5,000 a game throughout the day.”
Next week, continuing our focus on Problem Gambling Awareness Month, we will be discussing ‘protection of reputation’, as we hear the impact that the actions of individuals during their period of gambling harm had on a wider organization.