More About Gaming Venue Employees
16 December 2008
Fresh research by Associate Professor Nerilee Hing of Southern Cross University has revealed the extent of gambling problems among gaming venue staff. Professor Hing surveyed 511 Queensland casino, club and hotel staff about their participation in gambling activities. They were also tested for gambling problems. The research revealed that gambling activity among gaming venue staff is high and so is the level of problem gambling.
Participation of gaming venue staff in types of gambling over 12 month period compared with Queensland adult population
|Type of gambling||Venue staff who participate in activity||Queensland adults who participate in activity|
|TAB betting||36.8%||16.4% (inc. racetrack)|
|Racetrack betting||19.9%||16.4% (inc. TAB)|
The staff participation rate for gambling on internet casinos is over 40 times higher than for the Queensland population, while the staff participation rate for private gambling is over 13 times higher. The likely explanation is that casino employees are prohibited from gambling where they work and playing casino games on the internet and private gambling may be an attractive alternative for them.
One question is the extent to which those who are gamblers seek work in the gaming industry or whether working in a gaming venue creates gamblers. The study found that since staff commenced working in a gaming venue, 19.8% reported that their gambling had increased, 54.4% said their level of gambling had stayed the same and 25.8% said that their gambling had decreased.
The level of problem gambling among gaming venue staff was found to be 4.5% using the Canadian Problem Gambling Index. This is 7.5 times higher than the prevalence rate amongst the Queensland population. Also the moderate risk group was 5.8% higher than amongst the general Queensland population.
Nearly three-quarters of the problem gamblers reported increasing their gambling since working in a gaming venue.
Prevalence rate of problem gambling among gaming venue staff compared with the general Queensland adult population
|CPGI category||Gaming venue staff||Queensland population|
|Low risk gambler||17.0%||5.7%|
|Moderate risk gambler||11.5%||1.8%|
What can be done?
Gaming venue staff agreed that the following steps should be taken to help staff avoid developing a gambling problem:
- Helping the staff member exclude from gaming venues
- Not being allowed to gamble in the workplace
- Access to counselling services
- Assuring the person that they would not lose their job
- Responsible gambling training
- Information about problem gambling, the odds in gambling
- Staff gambling
- A self-assessment tool for problem gambling
- More emphasis on responsible gambling in the workplace
- Regular responsible gambling refresher courses
- Not paying wages in cash or extending advances on pay
- Providing alternative social activities for staff
- Training in stress and conflict management
- Having tight cash security
- Providing non-gambling related jobs for those staff with gambling problems
It is evident from this study that gaming venue staff are at significant risk for developing and maintaining gambling problems. There is potential for gaming venues to lower the risk of staff developing gambling problems by some simple measures. The complete report "A Quantitative Analysis of Workplace Influences on Responsible Gambling and Problem Gambling amongst Employees of Queensland Gaming Venues" can be found at http://www.olgr.qld.gov.au/resources/resGamblingDoc/finalReport0908.pdf