Casinos Attribute 50 Percent of All Losses to Employee Theft

Casinos appear to be a favorite entertainment venue for millions of people each year.  That’s good news for casino operators. But millions of guests mean casinos must hire lots of employees. Like many other businesses, business growth and human resources doesn’t always go hand in hand. 

Recent studies and survey reveal that human-capital considerations top the list of current managerial concerns in the gaming industry. They have good reason.

Employee TheftMany sources document that nearly 50% of all losses incurred by casinos are attributed to employee theft . According to the Nevada Gaming Commission, during the period 1999-2000, approximately 34 percent of those arrested for theft or cheating in casinos were the casinos’ own staff members. The major types of employee theft / misdeeds include:

  • Cash-handling positions on the gaming floor, in cashiers’ cages, back rooms, and POS (Point of Sale) terminals are particularly susceptible;
  • Watering down drinks, with bogus comp entry for paid drinks (customer pays but the bartender pockets the money and states the drink was provided at no charge)
  • Fraudulent recording of amount of time spent gambling by patrons (casinos reward high rollers and frequent gamblers with free food, lodging, event tickets,etc.)
  • Drinking on the job, drug use, loitering;
  • Theft of alcohol, food and meat from casino receiving docks, theft of guest possessions  by staff, housekeeping, etc.;
  • Patron theft (of winnings, purses, chips, etc.)

Casinos must divert more resources to recruiting and selecting potential employees who are dependable, honest, and customer focused. It is suggested that casino management should adopt a comprehensive employee screening tool kit to screen out high risk candidates. HR managers of casinos should adopt selection tools to choose employees with better personality fit, general reasoning abilities, and positive work attitude.

For example, online personality tests are helpful to assess some important traits in casino and gaming workers such as agreeableness, the degree to which someone is trusting, amiable, cooperative, and open-minded; emotional stability, the degree to which someone is confident, reserved, and poised especially in stressful situations; and conscientiousness, the degree to which an employee will follow the rules, show up for work, and follow-through.





Ira S Wolfe