Stress and productivity in hospitality and gambling workplaces


  • Helen Breen Southern Cross University
  • Margaret Tiyce Southern Cross University
  • Nerilee Hing Southern Cross University
  • Grant Cairncross Southern Cross University


Workplace stress has business and human costs for employees, organisations, families and society. However, employee stress and the workplace stressors that create it go largely unaddressed by organisations. Hospitality workplaces, including gaming venues where the conditions of work usually include a high pressure environment, appear especially conducive environments for employee stress, although little gambling research has examined this. Through qualitative analysis of data from a previous study of gaming venue employees, this paper explores stressors in gambling workplaces. The analysis reveals that hospitality employment conditions, such as uncertain shift work, demanding work roles and high levels of emotional labour are experienced by gaming employees as hospitality employees. In addition,  stressors distinctive to the gambling workplace include: close patron interactions (such as building relationships with customers and experiencing role conflict), uncertainty and lack of control (such as managing customers with alcohol-related problems and gambling losses), legal responsibilities (such as providing responsible gambling and responsible alcohol service within venue management goals), ethical concerns (such as role ambiguity of providing duty of care to customer and profit maximisation for owners),and super-charged environments (such as a highly stimulating physical environment including noise and lights). The tendency to view stress as an individual problem overlooks important environmental factors that heighten business costs in productivity losses and human resource overheads. Understanding causes of workplace stress and introducing effective human resource strategies to reduce stress may improve the efficiency, energy and performance of employees, may increase may an organisations’s productivity and performance of employees, may increase may an organisations? productivity and deliver health benefits for employees.