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Create a Gambling Policy

Do your company and employees a favour. Create a healthier work environment by reducing undesirable temptations. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive gambling policy.

Policy Considerations

Sample Policy

More Protection

A company gambling policy helps prevent problems at the workplace.

           Caution is not cowardly. Carelessness is not courage.

– Unknown source

Most companies prohibit poker and dice games, but what about hockey pools, lottery groups, and raffle tickets? These gambling activities also can harm an employee's productivity, financial health, and personal life.

A sound gambling policy is especially important for businesses that deal in large amounts of cash, are located near gambling venues, have flexible work schedules, frequently send employees away from home, or employ recovering gambling addicts.

Policy Considerations Back to top

As you develop your company's gambling policy, consider the following:

  • Define the type of gambling behavior you want to restrict. Does it include card and dice games, lotteries, sports bets, raffles, and/or Internet gambling?
  • Remind employees that some types of gambling are illegal and addiction can lead to criminal behaviour. Over 60% of compulsive gamblers break the law to finance their gambling habits.
  • Explain that a person's gambling problems affect others, too. Being less productive places greater burdens on co-workers and harms everyone's morale. Families suffer, and friendships can be destroyed.
  • Provide employees with written copies of your company's gambling policy. Also supply gambling addiction literature to help prevent problems before they occur. The better your workers understand gambling, the more likely they are to act responsibly.
  • Offer problem gambling literature when employees leave your company. Most problem gamblers are unemployed, and many retirees gamble regularly.
  • Decide under what circumstances, and to what extent, your company will help employees recover from their gambling addictions. Will you give them a copy of our problem gambling recovery system? Help pay for some treatment costs? Provide sick leave?
Sample Policy Back to top

Here is a sample gambling policy you can use to create your own:

The right gambling policy can improve employee morale and build better teams.

At XYZ Corp., we care about the physical, mental, and financial health of our employees.

We are sensitive to the serious problems that problem gambling causes for many people. These can include huge debts, family breakups, criminal activity, depression, and even suicide.

We hope to foster a healthy environment for people who could be in danger of developing gambling problems or are recovering from gambling addictions.

As a matter of policy, XYZ Corp. prohibits employee gambling: (1) at all places during work hours, and (2) on company premises at all times—including breaks. In other words, don't gamble when you should be working, and don't ever gamble on company property.

Gambling is the wagering of money or other valuables on the outcome of events. This includes, but is not limited to, card and dice games, sport pools, lotteries, raffles, and Internet gambling.

Violation of this policy can result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.

If you might have a gambling problem, please contact Human Resources for information and treatment assistance.

More Protection Back to top

A well considered gambling policy is a good first step towards protecting everyone from the dangers of problem gambling.

Still, you cannot just forget about this issue after you distribute your policy. Here are some active measures you can take to protect your business.

  • Keep a close watch on the movement of company money. Require dual signatures on supplier cheques.
  • Make a point of asking employees if they are facing difficulties related to gambling losses. Make it your concern as an employer.
  • Be sure different people input data and output payments.
  • Include a formal tendering protocol in your purchasing process to reduce the risk of paying bogus suppliers.
  • Block employee access to gambling web sites. Monitor new technologies.
  • Tell employees, supervisors, and management that access to gambling sites through work mobile devices is unacceptable.
  • Inform staff with key financial responsibilities that they must undergo regular "screening" to identify signs of problem debts, such as court judgements.
  • What message does your choice of corporate entertainment send? Is gambling becoming part of your corporate culture? Is it contributing to the well being of your employees? Corporations increasingly are celebrating with gambling-related activities and awards. The costs of choosing these types of rewards often extend beyond the invoices.
  • Prominently display information and advice for employees who have gambling problems or think they might.
  • Employers should make it clear in their computer and Internet policies and disciplinary procedures that gambling at work is unacceptable and will be treated as a disciplinary matter.

Full protection requires you to remain alert for employees who could have gambling problems. Learn how to spot workplace warning signs.