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Online Gambling In The Workplace

Added: Nov. 14, 2016

You are probably quite aware that in most, if not all workplaces today there are sports gambling activities taking place. Yet it is important to distinguish the old school pencil and paper betting pools of yesteryear to what is actually taking place today. As you might well imagine, the ever present availability of Smartphone technology and the always available internet has catapulted the traditional sports gambling activities into a whole new level.

At the same time, you cannot have missed out on the incredible rise of the seemingly unstoppable growth of the daily fantasy sports betting action. Get this: recent estimates from credible sources suggest that no less than 57 million people in the United States and Canada are actively engaged in fantasy sports betting activities. Moreover, this activity is forecast to grow by no less than 10% annually. To put a number on this sort of activity, take note of the fact that the average fantasy sports betting player will spend more than $556 each year on a combination of so-called fantasty sports league “fees” and other associated fantasy sports wagering costs.

Another way of looking at the above breakdown of fantasy sports betting is to arrive at the inescapable conclusion that despite the naysayers and such, the fact of the matter is the gambling in the workplace is not going away. That naturally brings up the question of what, if anything the employer should do? As you might well imagine, this question can and does trigger uncertainty and even controversy for employers.

Since the fact of the matter is that each state can and does set their own individual gambling laws, it may be better to assume more of a hands-off approach. In addition, sponsorship of such activities such as March Madness or fantasy sports leagues is most likely not a good idea. At the same time, the employer should clearly set clear rules and guidelines in place with respect to company computers and such. Depending on the individual state and the associated gambling laws, it may be necessary to implement internet firewalls for company wide internet access portals.

All that being said, the reality is that a significant percentage of fantasy sports action takes place on personal mobile devices anyway. So while an employer can certainly prohibit fantasy sports wagering on company technology, that will not stop online gambling from personal devices.

Bottom line: online gambling in the workplace is not going away. The incredible rise of the popularity of online gambling, especially fantasy sports betting is yet another sign of technology outpacing society’s rules and accepted activities in the workplace. Watch for this issue to continue to be debated in the near future as the technology and the opportunities for online gambling increase.