Monday, February 22, 2010


Gambling in the workplace is a little researched area despite the potential far-reaching consequences. Part of the problem stems from the fact that employers are reluctant to acknowledge gambling as a workplace issue and the possible implications that may arise from it. This section briefly examines the major issues surrounding Internet gambling in the workplace.
Internet gambling is one of the newer opportunities for gambling in the workplace. There are now a huge number of websites offering opportunities for gambling on the Internet by using a credit card. At present there are few legal restrictions to stop this form of gambling taking place. An increasing number of organizations have unlimited Internet access for all, which allows such activity to take place without arousing suspicion. Internet gambling is a somewhat solitary activity that can happen without the knowledge of both management
and the employee’s co-workers. Furthermore, problem Internet gambling has few observable signs and symptoms that are commonly associated with other addictions. This makes identification of problem gamblers hard for employers. However, there are a number of behaviors and “warning signs” that might be indicative of a gambling problem.
Many of these involve the exploitation of time and finances.
Problem Internet gambling can clearly be a hidden activity, and the growing availability of Internet gambling is making it easier to gamble from the workplace. Thankfully, it would appear that for most people, Internet gambling is not a serious problem, although even for social Internet gamblers who gamble during work hours, there are issues about time wasting and impact on work productivity. For those whose gambling starts to become more of a problem, it can affect both the organization and other work colleagues. Managers clearly need to have their awareness of this issue raised, and once this has happened, they need to raise awareness of the issue among the work force. Employers should seek to introduce a “gambling policy” at work that includes Internet gambling. This should include a checklist that employees can assess themselves, but also include a list of behaviors and warning signs.
Finally, in this section, it might perhaps be argued that in some cases, abuse of the Internet may actually make the employee feel happier about themselves.
If this is the case, it could perhaps be speculated that these individuals would actually increase (rather than decrease) productivity in the workplace. Unfortunately, there is no empirical evidence to confirm or refute such a speculation.
However, it is unlikely many employers would want to facilitate Internet abuse even if it was shown that productivity could be increased in this way. There are also questions about how much Internet abuse would be acceptable and at what point the gains from feeling good start to be outweighed by excessive time spent on the Internet.

No comments:

Post a Comment