Influences of shift work on the gambling behaviour of staff working in gaming venues

Nerilee Hing, Southern Cross University
Helen Breen, Southern Cross University

Document Type Conference publication


This paper reports on a research project into workplace influences on the gambling behaviour of gaming venue employees. Using a qualitative design, researchers visited venues in five regions of Queensland to interview 92 employees from hotels, licensed clubs and casinos. Of all types of workplace influences discussed, shift work was perceived by most employees as the main factor encouraging gambling venue staff. A thematic analysis revealed key reasons for this as: lack of alternative social and recreational opportunities, only gambling venues are open after some shifts, staff tend to socialise with other hospitality workers who often gamble, they can suffer from social isolation and pursue solitary leisure activities, they gamble to fill in time between shifts and while waiting for colleagues to finish work, and because shift work discouraged them from gambling, because most gambling venues are closed if they finish work early in the morning and because shift work means they go out less overall. Other employees considered that shift work had no influence on staff gambling, because they find other activities in their time off and /or they just want to go home after a shift. Identifying these risk and protective factors is important in developing appropriate interventions to discourage risky gambling behaviour. Providing more regular shifts, encouraging hospitality career development, and promoting family and alternative social and recreational activities for staff are measures venues could implement to help counter these effects.