ComplianceLegalDecember 02, 2020

Setting limits on gambling activities in the workplace

Gambling in the workplace can interfere with employee productivity, and a policy setting limits on gambling activities may be warranted.

Workplace rules should include restrictions on gambling. While it's unlikely that your employees will be playing poker and craps at work, it's more likely that they will be participating in sports pools and purchasing lottery tickets as a group.

As the employer, you should decide what forms of gambling you're going to allow in your workplace and whether you can include your policy in your general work rules or if you need to put a formal policy specifically addressing this issue into place.

Here's a list of things to consider in developing your policy against gambling:

  • Define gambling or the type of behavior that you want to restrict.
  • Emphasize that some kinds of gambling are illegal.
  • Acknowledge that gambling can interfere with employee productivity and morale.
  • Be prepared to discipline the entrants in the World Series and Superbowl office pools as well as the card game during lunch if it takes place on company property.
  • Determine whether your policy should take into account off-duty behavior. Be mindful of federal and state laws that may limit your ability to regulate employees' lawful activities during off-duty hours, particularly in the absence of a bona fide business purpose.
  • A gambling policy may be especially important if in your business large amounts of cash change hands.


    If your business is a cash loan advance one, you would be interested in ensuring that employees are not acting in a fiscally irresponsible manner either at work or away from work. An employee who gambles could be a threat to your business resources.

  • Coordinate your gambling policy with your progressive step disciplinary program or carve out specific behavior that is subject to immediate termination.
  • Consider under what circumstances, if any, you would call the police for employee gambling activity.

The following are sample gambling policy statements you can use when creating a policy for your business:


No gambling is allowed on the premises. This includes football and baseball pools, as well as all other forms of gambling.

Note that this next example not only doesn't allow gambling on company property, but prohibits it more broadly.


XYZ Corporation's policy is to prohibit absolutely any gambling on the part of its employees. Gambling losses constitute a threat to the company's security, and the practice will not be tolerated.

Your business needs will dictate whether you should have a broad or more specific policy in place.

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