Can casino employees gamble? This has been one of the most frequently asked questions in the gambling industry. Casino workers include gaming dealers and slot attendants. They could also be gaming managers, bartenders, casino managers, tellers, waitresses, to mention a few. Gambler experts continue to debate this subject. This is because a large percentage of casino owners prevent their workers from gambling.
Indeed, they further prevent them from gambling in other casinos close by or other casinos in general. On their part, many casino workers kick against this policy. They believe it is a basic right to gamble in the organization where they work. As it is known, there are some health benefits to gambling. Mental stimulation is one of them. Casino workers feel that denying them this “basic right to gamble” equals denying them these healthy benefits. This, also with the right to earn extra cash.
Can casino employees gamble? What do the studies say?
Indeed, this subject is so crucial that it has been studied and analyzed by experts. Some support the casino owners and some stand with the workers. In their defense, casino owners say preventing casino workers from gambling will keep problems from arising as a result of this. This includes theft, compulsive, and problem gambling among others.
As stated earlier, this argument has been a subject for study. This brings about two hypotheses: the Exposure hypothesis and the Adaptive hypothesis. This article shall further explore both hypotheses.
This hypothesis explains that it can become a problem when people are exposed to gambling. This hypothesis compares the chance of gamble with the threats of disease. For example, if electronic gaming machines (EGMs) are presented to the public, there is every possibility that problem gambling may be on the rise.
Going by this hypothesis, casino workers are the most open to problem gambling. This is because they have direct access to the games. Casino executives and owners who support banning casino workers from gambling present this argument at every chance they get. They insist that after work, casino workers should go home to rest instead of hanging around the casino, gambling. They believe that it is dangerous to the worker’s health. Too much of everything is bad, they say. When all a person does revolves around gambling, it can be detrimental to their mental state. A casino worker should be able to spend his or her after-work hours on some other activities that do not involve gambling.
They also add that allowing casino workers to gamble not only affects the workers but also the company. There is a thin line between gambling for fun and problem gambling. It is no news that gambling can turn addictive within a short time. Also, people lose more money than they make from gambling. If they lose money, casino workers who have access to the company’s finances may be tempted to steal its funds. This may be to continue gambling or to reimburse themselves. Either way, the company bears the brunt of this.
Bone of Contention
Although those who support the prohibition of casino workers from gambling raise valid points, the hypothesis is strongly contested. This is because the argument presents all casino workers as gamblers. Does this mean that non-gamblers are not interested in taking casino jobs? What about non-gamblers who have worked in casinos for years? Even if the hypothesis is correct, why don’t they put measures in place to help the workers? Does banning casino workers from gambling ultimately solve the problems? Is there not a better way out other than this?
People who support casino workers gambling are quick to point out a particular “flaw”. They say that there is more to casino owners preventing their workers from gambling. It is a known fact the house designs casino games to favour themselves. Casino workers are insiders who know how the game works. Thus, there is the possibility that they may use insider information or cheat scams to win at the games. Either they do this or they give this information to customers with whom they share a close relationship.
While these contentions are valid, the exposure hypothesis should not be that easily dismissed. Problem gambling is very much a reality. The effects of this could range from embezzlement or fraud (as earlier pointed out) to mental health issues or worse, suicide. Also, casino owners should in no way be faulted for choosing to place policies that protect their companies.
This hypothesis is the exact opposite of the Exposure Hypothesis. This proposes that when a person is exposed to gambling over a while, the effect of it grows weak on them. The urge to gamble increases at the initial stage and then declines with time. Thus, the chances of problem gambling happening are zero to none. For example, people who work in a bakery (and have access to eat bread daily) don’t get excited by the bread outside their bakery. Indeed, they may get tired of the ones the bakery serves them.
Critics who support casino workers gambling state that the fear of workers being exposed to problem gambling is irrelevant. What about the mental and psychological health of their customers? Would they ban people from gambling because they’re that concerned about mental health? Indeed, problem gambling is a potential factor for everyone who gambles. Another argument for allowing casino workers to gamble is that it may bring in more money for the company. The gambling industry is worth millions and more millions of dollars. It can add more millions in revenue by allowing its workers to gamble.
If casino owners accept the Adaptation Hypothesis as a fact, it will be easier for them to monitor their workers. As it is now, even with strict regulations surrounding workers gambling, many of them still gamble. However, they do this in secret because of the consequences that come with being caught.
Bone of contention
This hypothesis may seem like the good guy in this subject but it does have some drawbacks. The argument that people who gamble over time will get used to it thus eliminating problem gambling is unrealistic. If the Adaptation Hypothesis had any iota of truth in it, there would be no problem gamblers in the world. The Adaptive Hypothesis may work in other spheres of life but never in gambling.
People lose huge amounts of money and still return to gamble. Also, there is the dopamine rush that consumes a person’s being from the thought alone of winning money. This is what fuels the urge to gamble despite being in debt. The flashing lights, sounds, and colors urge a person to play despite their better judgment.
Also, how would it look if a casino worker hit a jackpot? Surely, if it were a non-worker, this would attract celebrations of some sort (although not on the casino’s part). The idea of a casino worker winning big at their casino doesn’t look appropriate. This will raise brows, people will ask questions, the casino worker will be heavily monitored. Did they cheat to win? Did they steal casino information to beat the house? Casino workers gambling at their work would increase the chances of winning big and the house would not want it so.
The Role of the Law
It is important to note that casino owners are not the only ones preventing their workers from gambling. The law is very much involved in this as well. In countries like Singapore and Macau, the government banned casino workers from gambling. The government prevents them from gambling whether at their workplaces or other casino houses. The consequences for flouting this law are severe. Casino workers who indulge in gambling can lose their gaming license if caught. Thus, the government monitors casino workers heavily to keep them in compliance with the law. In the same vein, casino workers in these countries are very careful.
So can casino employees gamble? The answer to this question depends on the casino house or the law of the land. In UK, the laws allow for casino workers to place bets. People shouldn’t blame casino owners if they feel their workers’ gambling does them a disservice. Yet, this doesn’t stop workers from gambling in secret. So, the solution to this would be to put policies in place on responsible gambling. This way, casino workers maintain discipline while enjoying the games as well. And how about you, dear reader? Do you like to go to casinos? Comment below and in case you’re planning to go to one soon read what to wear to a casino.