Although demographic characteristics and employment variables may be useful in better understanding casino employee gambling, the high PG rates that have been detected among casino employees must be explained by at least one of three basic factors: Being employed in a casino somehow induces employees to gamble more, casinos attract individuals who are already problem gamblers, or problem gamblers remain in the industry for longer periods of time (Dangerfield, 2004; Shaffer et al., 1999).
Based on the results from her study in Alberta, Dangerfield concluded, ―There is very little evidence that the high rates of problem gambling among casino employees are a result of their casino employment. Rather, it appears the gaming industry actually attracts problem gamblers‖ (p. 57). Dangerfield discounted the impacts of workplace influences in part because of her finding that employees were more likely to have decreased than increased their gambling.
Additionally, she did not find that length of employment in the industry positively related with gambling, nor did gambling participation increase during the six months between her first and second study intervals. On the other hand, she discovered a fairly high percentage of her respondents were attracted to the employment because they 41 thought they would enjoy it, and she interpreted this finding as an indication that many of the employees may have already been problem gamblers when their employment began.
Shaffer et al. (1999) similarly found that casino employees were more likely to have decreased than increased their gambling, yet the authors also pointed out that the problem gamblers were especially likely to have claimed their gambling had increased since they became casino workers. In fact, 74.4% of the level 3 gamblers claimed to have increased their gambling, while only 15.2% of the total sample had made the same claim. The authors suggested that such increases in gambling could have been the cause of the gambling problems or a result of pre-existing problems.
The authors also pointed out that the highest level 3 gambling rates were detected among those employees who had worked in their facilities for several years, and that this finding could indicate that ―working in a casino may facilitate a gambling problem among employees who gamble and are at risk of problem gambling‖ or that ―workers with gambling problems may be more likely to choose to remain employed in a setting that offers ready access to gambling‖ (p. 374).