A qualitative perspective on physical, social and cognitive accessibility to gambling


A possible relationship exists between heightened accessibility to gambling and the development and maintenance of gambling problems amongst employees at gambling venues. This paper takes an interpretive approach to exploring how working in a gambling venue influences accessibility to gambling. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 40 hotel and club employees in Victoria, Australia. Data were analysed along three key dimensions of accessibility to gambling. In terms of physical accessibility, respondents generally felt shiftwork and split shifts heavily influence the times staff are likely to access gambling facilities. Aspects of social accessibility, including familiarity and comfort of gambling in the workplace, encouragement by other staff, and workplace cultures that do not deter staff gambling, were considered encouraging influences. Cognitive accessibility (or knowledge and understanding about gambling) was heightened by enhanced knowledge of gambling products and processes, greater knowledge of jackpot levels, a desire to know what competing venues are offering, and cognitive distortions around winning.

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