Every year in offices all over the country, bets are being placed. 73% of the adult population participated in some sort of gambling activity in 2010. Bets were placed on Women’s World Cup Matches, Cricket tournaments and FA cup finals. It doesn’t cost a lot to play. £5 to get two countries out of a hat. £10 to have a chance to win a new TV. Participating in the office pool to buy National Lottery tickets. Nothing massive, just some work place fun. So we asked: Is there a place for betting in the work place? Second, how common is it?
The barriers to entry are low. The Gambling Commission of the UK says licenses are not required for “helping people make bets if people who work for, and have a contract with the same employer, bet against each other.” Most workers agreed – shown in a US survey by Vault – that there is a place for betting in the work place. They said office pools built moral, weren’t difficult to start and everyone seemed to get overall satisfaction from it. A majority of companies don’t have a betting policy in the work place – so technically, you probably aren’t breaking any rules.
How common is office betting? Vault says on average 82% of work colleagues participate in betting pools. Most of the respondents said that they devote less than thirty minutes a day – not a lot but enough to question when a small task falls through the crack. In our own office, we had a World Cup tournament. It was great to see whose teams had gone through to the next rounds, getting them closer to that final cash pot prize.
Our advice: Play along but within reason. It’s fun to have some healthy competition in the office. Just make sure it doesn’t take the precedent above your actual work.