Job Hunting

Gambling On Company Time.

More than 1 million people gamble regularly online. StaffJune 26, 2001

Are your employees trying to make an extra buck on company time?

According to a study by Websense Inc., a San Diego-based employee Internet management company, the answer is a definite, “Yes.”

There are now more than 31,000 gambling sites on the Internet, an 80 percent increase in one year, says the study. While it may be good news to those hard-core gamblers out there, it is disturbing news for employers whose employees are gambling on company time.

According to the study, 67 percent of all Internet access occurs at work, which means that thousands of employees are gambling when they should be working. In fact, more than 1 million people were discovered to gamble regularly online, and one to four percent of them are considered pathological, says the study.

The dramatic rise in Internet gambling is attributed to the borderless nature of the Internet, the study says, in addition to supply and demand.

To make matters worse, more and more countries are licensing gambling activity, driven by the realization that gambling creates huge tax revenues. According to the study, gambling sites rake in more than $3 billion a year, a figure that has been predicted by Bear Stearns to double in the next two years.

Meanwhile, while governments are pulling in revenue, companies are plagued with productivity losses and potential legal problems, says the study.