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Southern California Problem Gambling Summit November 4, 2010 Gaming Venue & Other Employees: At-Risk for Problem Gambling PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Southern California Problem Gambling Summit November 4, 2010 Gaming Venue & Other Employees: At-Risk for Problem Gambling. Suzanne Koch Eckenrode, MFT, CCGCII, NCGCII, Consultant [email protected] NAPAFASA Problem Gambling Prevention TA and Training Project

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Southern California Problem Gambling Summit November 4, 2010 Gaming Venue & Other Employees: At-Risk for Problem Gambling

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Southern California Problem Gambling SummitNovember 4, 2010Gaming Venue & Other Employees:At-Risk for Problem Gambling

Suzanne Koch Eckenrode,

MFT, CCGCII, NCGCII, Consultant

[email protected]

NAPAFASA Problem Gambling Prevention TA and Training Project

Funded by the State of California Office of Problem Gambling


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Most Vulnerable Industries to PG

  • Gaming Venue Employees;

  • Independent jobs or shift work (real estate, investors, day traders, sales); and

  • Cash workers (restaurant, construction).


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Gaming Venue Employees

  • Studies have shown that venue employees (casinos, card rooms, racetracks, lottery vendors, etc.) are an at-risk group for developing problem gambling behaviors.

  • They have greater rates of problem gambling than the general population, from 15 to 20% -- 10 times the national average.


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Gaming Venue Employees

  • Include frontline staff: dealers, slot attendants, cashiers, pit bosses;

  • Also technicians, housekeepers, hotel desk clerks, racetrack announcers, cocktail servers, security officers & CEO’s;

  • Each of these have greater exposure and access to gambling than the general public.


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Gaming Venue Employees

  • One study reported venue staff considered more at-risk than general population by:

    • 32% of managers;

    • 57% of hotel employees;

    • 56% of club employees;

    • 24% of casino employees;

    • 100% of problem gamblers;

    • 79% of counselors.

      (Hing, 2007)


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Gaming Venue Staff – Chicken or egg?

  • Pre-disposing theory

    • Attracted to venue due to pre-existing PG, or other problem

  • Environmental theory

    • Influence of environment

      (Hing & Breen, 2008, Schaffer, 1999)


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Pre-Disposing Theory

  • Casino employees with gambling problems have higher rates of smoking, drinking and depression than co-workers without PG

  • PG have higher rates of depression, anxiety and hyperactivity (ADHD)

    (Lee, 2008, Schaffer, 1999)


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Environmental theory

  • Three-quarters of respondents identified as “problem gamblers” and two-fifths of those identified as “moderate risk problem gamblers” increased their gambling since beginning work in a gaming establishment.

    (Hing, 2008)


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Risk Factors of Working in a Gaming Venue

  • Close interaction with gamblers

    • Hear and view wins, given tips

  • Frequent exposure and access to gambling

    • Normalization, desensitization of gambling

    • Ready access

    • Atmosphere of work environment (lights, no clocks)


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Risk Factors of Working in a Gaming Venue

  • Influence of fellow employees

    • Introduce and encourage one another

    • Gamble together at work, after work and on days off

  • Influence of management

    • Management gambling and fostering gambling culture of workplace


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Risk Factors of Working in a Gaming Venue

  • Workplace stress

    • See gambling as a way to unwind after work, be left alone, or deal with tension

  • Shift work

    • Most important workplace factor encouraging gambling

    • Working outside 9-5, M-F work hours, when family and friends may not be available; fosters social isolation


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Risk Factors of Working in a Gaming Venue

  • Frequent exposure to gambling marketing and promotions

    • Reinforces gambling as a means of winning money

    • raises awareness of jackpot levels and other high stakes

  • Other workplace factors:

    • alcohol consumption, access to cash,

    • reluctance to expose a gambling problem – embarrassment and fears of: losing their job, affecting advancement, taking blame for cash shortfalls

      (Hing & Breen, 2008)


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RISK & PROTECTIVE FACTORS IN THE WORKPLACE

STAFF GAMBLING BEHAVIOUR

VENUE STRATEGIES

Close interaction with gamblers

Problem gambling

Moderate-risk gambling

Low-risk gambling

Responsible (no-risk) gambling

Frequent exposure to gambling

Influence of fellow employees

Influence of Management

To discourage problem gambling

Workplace stressors

Shift work

Frequent exposure to marketing/promotions

To encourage responsible gambling

Staff training in responsible gambling

Venue-based responsible gambling measures

Other workplace factors


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Signs of EmployeeProblem Gambling

  • Loss of Time on the Job

    • Late to work

    • Long lunches

    • Mysterious disappearances

    • Abusing phone privileges

    • Visiting on-line websites

      (Adapted from Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. Gambling in the Workplace: prevention and detection)


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Signs of EmployeeProblem Gambling

  • Deteriorating Office Behavior

    • Frequent mood swings, irritability

    • Conflicts about unpaid loans

    • Disregard for appearance or hygiene

    • Vacation time used in isolated days rather than a block

    • Sick days taken right when they become available rather than accumulating


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Signs of EmployeeProblem Gambling

  • Declining Work Performance

    • Missed deadlines

    • Unfinished projects

    • Poor concentration

    • Diminished work quality

    • Absences from meetings


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Signs of EmployeeProblem Gambling

  • Extreme Gambling Interests

    • Organizing office pools

    • Planning gambling trips outside of work

    • Reading gambling literature at work

    • Has an obsessive interest in the results/scores of races, sporting events, or lotteries


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Signs of EmployeeProblem Gambling

  • Desperate Financial Behavior

    • Excessive debt

    • Borrowing from fellow staff or patrons

    • Requests pay advances

    • Pay is garnished

    • Thefts from co-workers, patrons or venue

    • Embezzling funds (bank short)

    • Selling personal or stolen goods at work


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Ways To Encourage Responsible Gambling And Discourage Problem Gambling For Gaming Staff

  • No gambling in the workplace policy

  • More staff education and training

  • Raise staff awareness of gambling problems

  • Utilize Employee Assistance Programs and Human Resources

  • Self-restriction and Self-exclusion programs

  • Responsible Gaming Establishments

    (Hing & Breen, 2008)


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Ways To Encourage Responsible Gambling And Discourage Problem Gambling For Gaming Staff

  • Promote non-gambling social and leisure activities;

  • Provide alternate non-gambling jobs;

  • Restrict or ban pay advances and cash payment of wages;

  • Carefully monitor cash flow; have vigilant supervision, surveillance and controls.

    (Hing, 2008, Hing, & Breen, 2006)


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Awareness Information

  • Prominently display problem gambling signage, posters, and other promotional tools.

  • Make brochures available, that explain the nature and symptoms of problem gambling and include a toll-free self-help line – near ATM machines, cash areas, entrances/exits, and staff break rooms.

  • Present the safe gambling message through many and various means so that it sinks into staff.

    (Hing & Breen, 2006)


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Employee Problem Gambling Training

  • Provide regular trainings for gaming venue staff.

  • Increase awareness of staff that they are particularly susceptible to problem gambling.

  • Training topics proposed include: understanding the risks of developing gambling problems, detecting the signs of problem gambling, and understanding the consequences of problem gambling.

  • Trainings should provide employees information about Help-lines, problem gambling programs and counseling options, and self-restriction and exclusion programs. (Hing, 2008)


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Utilize EAP & HR Services

  • If the venue has an Employee Assistance Program, employees should be instructed on how to use it.

  • Management should require that Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselors and Human Resource personnel are trained to identify and refer problem gamblers.

  • Management should encourage problem gambling screening for employees who visit EAPs, even if they present for other problems. (Shaffer, 1999)


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Self Restriction & Self Exclusion

  • Self-restriction

    • limit access to advertising and promotions, credit and check cashing, or the entire gambling establishment.

  • Self-exclusion

    • voluntarily ban statewide from card rooms and on an individual basis from participating tribal casinos for a specified time limit. (California Gaming Control Commission, 2007).

  • These programs can increase staff accountability and decrease temptation to gamble for those with PG.

  • Studies show they deterred problem gambling in staff who had witnessed the ill-effects of problem gambling in their patrons. (Hing & Breen, 2008)


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Responsible Gaming Establishments

  • California has a statewide program operated by the California Gaming Control Commission for state-licensed card rooms, which are required to be responsible gaming establishments.

  • This mandates training for all employees excluding food and beverage servers. (California Gaming Control Commission, 2007)

  • The tribal members of the California Business Alliance signed an agreement to offer responsible gaming programs which include self-exclusion. (California Tribal Business Alliance)


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Case Example – Staying on Track

Junior is 47 yo divorced male returning to his job as a parimutuel clerk at the track where he has worked for 19 yrs.

He was suspended for writing $6k in bad checks, and mandated to seek help.

He started gambling at 7 yo w/ his father who was a PG and also worked at the track.

He now has 6 mos. abstinence and 45 days sober.


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