Gambling-Related Employee Embezzlement: A Study of Swedish Newspaper Reports
It is well-known that severe problem gambling may lead to economic crime. This study explored a particular type of such criminality: embezzlement committed by problem gamblers in the workplace. The aim was to gain knowledge about the extent of such criminality in Sweden and the sums of money involved. The method used was a media study of newspaper reports, complemented with information about help-seeking problem gamblers obtained in interviews with therapists specializing in problem gambling and with peer counsellors in mutual support societies of problem gamblers. The results showed that gambling-related embezzlement occurs in all branches of the economy where employees have access to money. The sums embezzled can be huge and the crimes sustained over several years. However, this varies across professional categories, with bank managers embezzling larger sums of money than others, and for longer, before being detected. Although Swedish newspapers report on average about one case a month of gambling-related employee embezzlement, the true prevalence is likely to be at least 10 times higher. More efforts should be made to prevent embezzlement and other gambling-related harms in the workplace.
On sait que le jeu problématique grave peut mener à la criminalité économique. Cette étude porte sur un aspect particulier de ce type de criminalité, soit le détournement commis par des joueurs problématiques dans leur milieu de travail. Elle vise à établir l’étendue de cette criminalité en Suède et les sommes d’argent en cause. À cette fin, on a effectué une analyse média des articles de journaux ainsi que des renseignements sur les joueurs problématiques ayant demandé de l’aide recueillis dans des entrevues avec des thérapeutes spécialisés en jeu problématique et avec des pairs-conseillers de groupes de soutien pour les joueurs problématiques. Il a été constaté que le détournement lié au jeu problématique se produit dans tous les secteurs de l’économie où les employés ont accès à l’argent. Les sommes détournées peuvent être considérables et les crimes, se perpétrer sur plusieurs années. La situation varie toutefois selon la catégorie des professions, les directeurs de banque détournant des sommes plus élevées que les autres, et pendant de plus longues périodes, avant d’être découverts. Bien que les journaux suédois ne rapportent en moyenne qu’un cas de détournement par un employé joueur pathologique par mois, cette étude laisse entendre que la prévalence réelle est probablement dix fois plus élevée. Il est conclu que plus d’efforts doivent être faits pour prévenir le détournement et les autres dommages liés au jeu dans le milieu de travail.
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