Now that online gambling is so accessible, the phenomenon of gambling at work has increased. Businesses are more vulnerable to issues that can arise from gambling that happens in the workplace. With the availability of smartphones and internet access, it’s inevitable that some employees will enjoy gambling online. In many cases, gambling is just a harmless means of entertainment. However, employers do need to be aware of issues that could result from it and have policies in place with regard to gambling.
Gambling at work – a problem or not?
Employees may use their own mobile devices to play at an online casino with real money for recreational purposes. As long as they do so in their break times, there is no reason why it should affect their productivity. In fact, many workplaces will even organize gambling activities like placing bets on the outcome of a football game.
Gambling at work can become problematic when employees use workplace devices to gamble and do so during work hours. This can cause security risks, affect productivity and more.
Gambling at work can get out of control
There are various ways in which gambling at work can get out of control and affect employers.
Reduced productivity: Employees who gamble during work hours won’t focus fully on their work and use their work time effectively. They may take extra-long lunch hours to gamble and even be absent from work more often.
Theft and fraud: Employees who develop a gambling problem may resort to theft or fraud to finance their habit. This may also happen if employees start trading forex without knowing what they are doing and find themselves in debt. Employers need to be alert to possibilities like this, as it’s often the employees they least suspect who act this way.
What can employers do?
Employers have an obligation to address gambling in the workplace. They must be motivated every day to deter anything that could present a health and safety risk to their employees. This includes making sure they aren’t gambling in the workplace during working hours.
Employers need to assess risks and offer responsible gambling information to employees. A workplace policy on gambling is important to distinguish between what is acceptable and what isn’t, such as using workplace devices to access online gambling sites.