Do your company and employees a favour. Create a healthier work environment by
reducing undesirable temptations. Develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive
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
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.
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
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?
Here is a sample gambling policy you can use to create your own:
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
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
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
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.