Online gambling costs English firms millions

30 per cent of workers gamble at work or know someone who does

The Internet has opened up a whole new world for workers looking to waste time and many workers in England are taking the opportunity to gamble while on the job.

The habit isn't only potentially harming workers' pocketbooks, but businesses as well, according to a new survey. The survey, commissioned by consultant firm Morse, found that online gambling in the workplace is costing firms more than 300 million pounds ($692 million Can) each year in lost productivity.

"Many employees have unmonitored access to the Internet and the fact that they can now follow most sporting events online, coupled with the rise of Internet gambling websites, has tempted people to place a 'quick' bet online," said Morse spokesman Philip Wicks.

"However these bets all add up and can greatly impact on businesses' productivity."

Researchers claim 30 per cent of office workers nationally had either placed a bet online or knew someone who had. The survey of 664 office workers across England also found that those who gambled on the Internet at work were likely to spend 13 hours a year doing so.

Northern England had the most gamblers, with 35 per cent making bets compared to 29 per cent in the South and 27 per cent in the Midlands.

The survey said 38 per cent of the men questioned admitted to gambling online, compared to 21 per cent of women.

Bets were most often placed on the National Lottery, followed by football matches, horse races and online poker games.

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