Casinos are places to win and lose; money; of course but a new report suggests that staff in casinos are gambling their health. The reason is attributed to long hours and poor conditions.
The survey was done on the state of casino working conditions by the GMB union. This comes when Glasgow prepares to bid for a licence to operate a Las Vegas-style super-casino.
According to the report, working conditions are such that three-quarters of the croupiers at the city's five casinos suffer back and neck problems, while a fifth suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, a form of repetitive strain injury that results in numbness and tingling in their hands due to excessive pressure on nerves.
Chronic fatigue and sleep disturbance from working excessive late hours was reported in 80% of the workers.
The worse part is that managers allow big-spending players to abuse and threaten workers, racial harassment cases have also doubled over the past three years, with two out of five female staff surveyed saying they had been sexually harassed.
In the words of Richard Leonard, GMB's Glasgow organiser for casino workers: "Casinos are seen as glamorous, but the view from the inside is radically different. It's time operators worked with government and the trade unions and cleaned up their act. If they do not they will see not only poorly motivated workers, but hefty damages claims too. The biggest response by far to our study came from Glasgow, which is another reason why we hope this sector gets its house in order before the government decides where Britain's first super-sized casino is to be based."
As a respite measure GMB wants casino operators to introduce a zero-tolerance policy for all customers who are abusive or threatening to staff. It also wants 12-hour shifts scrapped, and regular and longer rest breaks.
As per an industry source, highly surprised at the findings, said: "Generally, casinos have a very tight security policy, particularly when it comes to who they let through the door in the first place."