Influence of gambling on casino employees’ behaviour in Nairobi County, Kenya
Kinuthia, Teresa Wangui
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Casinos globally generate profits for the owners and other stakeholders andincrease the overall Gross Domestic Product of a country as a result of fees generated from licensing and imposed taxes of operation.In Africa, the casino market is developing rapidly and is in a major evolution. South Africa has forty five licensed casinos followed by Kenya with thirty one. Nairobi County has witnessed an upsurge in the number of casinos in the recent times, 55% of the casinos in Kenya are in Nairobi County. This growth represents equal economic benefits which include generation of the much needed employment.However, its negative impact on the employees remains a concern. It is worth noting that exposure to gambling, work environment and casino patrons‟predisposescasino employees to problem gambling. Frontline employees must familiarize themselves with gambling simply to perform their job. This exposure may tempt them to gamble due to distorted views about winning, seeing gamblers win and being caught up in the excitement of wins.The general objective of the study was to establish whether gambling in casinos influences employees‟ gambling behavior and to what extent. The specific objectives were, to explore whether the casino work environment has an impact on the employees gambling and socio-economic behavior. It also sought to establish availability and effectiveness of staff training in responsible gambling. Remedies/treatments available for problem gamblersin Nairobi County were also identified. The theory that underpinned this study was prospect theory. The study adopted cross-sectional survey research design and collected both qualitative and quantitative data. The sample size was 247 employees. Questionnaires were used to gather data from the casino employee, which was presented intables, pie charts and bar graphs. Interview guides collected data from casino managers and Government inspectors and data was analyzed by content analysis. Categories and themes were identified and similar views from the interviews were grouped together.An observation check list was used to ascertain the environmental factors that influence casino employees‟ gambling behavior.Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the best predictor variable influencing the gambling behavior of casino employees. In general the gambling in casinos was found to contribute (57.3%) of employees gambling behavior. The study concluded the following; that casino employees gamble, exposure to gambling and casino work environment impacts on the employees socio-economic and gambling behavior. Training and treatment/remedies have no significant relationship with the employees‟ responsible gambling behavior. The study found that; there was need to educate employees on responsible gambling and recommends that the government and casino owners need to help employees manage gambling related problems by establishing gambling addiction management centers as a form of Corporate Social Responsibility. The casino employers should ensure that employees are well remunerated and working environment is conducive. The study further recommends similar studies in other regions of Kenya and online gambling which has also taken root among the Kenyan productive age group.