Anger and Stress in Casinos

Casino employees are often vulnerable to a range of physical and emotional problems. Employees who work in casinos are expected to always treat customers with respect, smiles and dignity. Shelly Field, who counts “100 Best Careers in Casinos and Casino Hotels” among the 20 books she has written, said the 24-hour go-go atmosphere found in casinos piles stress on workers. “In the casino business you always have to be `on,’ and that adds to stress. Having to smile and be customer-service oriented on a constant basis becomes stressful in some instances,” said Field. The primary goal is to keep customers in the casino happy in spite of their attitude or behavior. Customers may often be intoxicated or angry over gambling losses. Employees are expected to tolerate rude and often insulting behavior. This can lead to stress, depression, hypertension, heart disease and anger. Since anger is a secondary emotion it is almost always preceded by frustration, stress or some other intense emotion.

Unrecognized and/or untreated workplace stress and anger can lead to an increase in sick day usage, accidents, interpersonal conflicts and poor morale. The resulting frustration experienced by the employee can trigger an angry outburst or employee burnout. According to an article published in CasinoDealers.net. Stress is extremely problematic among casino workers: 75% of casino workers identified stress as a significant cause of job dissatisfaction.50% of surveyed casino workers reported “a lot” to moderate stress.15% of medical claims among casino workers are reported to be stress related. Medical providers report that stress is a major contributor to most physical and mental health problems. Substance abuse, excessive eating and gambling are the principle occupational injuries of white collar and customer service workers. Stress indirectly costs employers $150 billion annually. Unfortunately, 25% of all surveyed managers believe that anger is an acceptable management strategy oblivious to the cost to the company as well as to employee morale. Stress is expensive emotionally, physically and financially for both employees and their employer.

Enlightened risk management and human resource consultants are aware of the business and legal exposure to organizations that ignore the need to address workplace stress, interpersonal conflicts, anger and person directed aggression. The average cost to an organization to defend itself against litigation charging workplace abuse, is $700,000. The introduction of anger management courses which include techniques for recognizing and managing stress, managing anger, improving communication and increasing empathy have been shown to effectively address workplace stress and interpersonal conflicts.

Research conducted at the University of South Florida, demonstrated that when an anger management program was introduced to students in one class, the entire school benefited. Similarly, a twelve month study conducted in one unit consisting of 16,000 employees in the U.S. Postal Service resulted in a savings of 1.7 million dollars. There was an increase in morale, increase in workplace performance, and reduction of sick day usage, a reduction in accidents and a dramatic decrease in workplace conflicts.

In addition to offering anger management to employees who exhibit problems managing stress, communicating effective and demonstrating emotional intelligence; anger management classes can be a cost saving intervention relative to preventing workplace conflict and improving employee morale.

A typical program can be implemented by providing brochures, or pamphlets explaining what an anger management class is and is not. Often, employees are reluctant to attend any program which may imply mental or emotional disturbance. Therefore, it is essential that the course be explained in simply language as a class designed to teach skills in managing stress, anger and improving communication and increasing empathy.

In order to address the stress and frustration often found among casino workers a good anger management program can provide the workers strategies to manage their stress and anger. In addition the essential components of a good anger management program should include skills to improve communication and increase empathy. This is not a program to deal with severe emotional problems and therefore employees should not experience any stigma associated with attending such a class. These courses are generally taught in small groups with approximately 20 employees with separate groups for management and line staff so that each can feel free to express themselves openly. Management staff often benefit from additional training on how to recognize signs of employee stress or depression in their work units.

Conclusion

Casino workers experience a high degree of workplace stress and anger based on the unique nature of their work environment. Like doctors, firemen and law enforcement officers, the stressful nature of the work is not likely to change. Instead, it is the employee who must be taught skills to manage his or her stress in ways that increase rather than decrease his job performance and team morale. The introduction of anger management courses are a cost saving intervention for business and industry.

Casino’s Popping Up Leads To Negative Impact on Economy

Casinos and other forms of gambling are popping up in almost every state. Every other day you hear of a new Indian Tribe that is looking for recognition. Once they receive their recognition, investors look to back these people up and in turn a new Casino is born. People all over the United States are using their paychecks for a chance to win big. In turn all of the local businesses are suffering to the point where they are now starting to file bankruptcy. Eventually, someone in political power will finally admit that the amount of money taken in from taxes on gambling is significantly less than the hardship created with the economy. Most states take in millions of dollars from their casinos, scratch tickets and lotto, but they don’t want to deal with the negative impact on the local businesses. Everyone knows there is a problem, but no one wants to face it.

People have no problem in spending hundreds and thousands of dollars at the Casino’s but will quickly get upset when gas rises ten cents per gallon or their child needs more school supplies. One mother told me she was very upset that the school system did not completely cover a field trip and that it would cost her $15.00 for each of her two children. She called the school and complained. This same person had no problem the night before losing $1,300.00 at the local casino. There’s no logic to this situation. In another situation, a person would steal sweet and low, butter and rolls from her local diner. She had money in her wallet but that was reserved for gambling. In both of these situations family members knew they had a gambling problem only after they noticed their quality of life was changing.

Everyone now knows someone who has a gambling problem. They don’t understand how this has happed to a loved one, but they know something has to change. The same situation occurs when you find out your brother is an alcoholic. You can’t close down every bar and you can’t bring back prohibition. You have to face it head on and look for alternatives to help your brother.

People now are beginning to speak out as the epidemic continues. A lot of people don’t even realize they have this addiction until their resources run out. Gamblers tell their friends I won $2000.00 at the Casino on Saturday, but they neglect to tell them they lost $5000.00 and the week before. Bad information is being spread in turn the recipients of this information head to the casino in an attempt to win big. If everyone won Casino’s would be out of business.

I have seen thousands of gambler’s lives destroyed because they do not know how to quit. Through education we can succeed at finding alternatives to help these people.

You may find the following websites helpful:

I Stopped Gambling So Can You

http://www.istoppedgambling.com/

Stop Gambling Books

[http://www.stopgamblinginformation.com/][http://www.stop-gambling-books.com/]

Compulsive Gambling Addiction

[http://www.compulsive-gambling-addiction.org/][http://www.compulsive-gambling-addiction.org/]