A large company with offices across Canada dismissed two of its employees for allegedly playing online poker at a Montreal office during regular work hours, a source revealed to Canada Poker. The source has asked that the company details remain anonymous, at least for now.
Slacking on the job is an ever growing phenomenon in the business world. More and more employees are spending time on Facebook, travel and shopping websites or playing social games instead of being productive. Sleeping on the job is another problem at companies.
The employees revealed to the source that they earned more money playing online poker than from their job salary. So why not play at night from home? They said they were bored at work and playing poker inspired them to go to work every morning and according to them, they were actually more productive in their day job. Reasons also cited were that some of the best action took place during the day while they were at the office because it was evening for their European opponents, especially since last year’s Black Friday when players from the USA were no longer allowed to play on some of the larger poker rooms and that made it even harder to find decent traffic during peak Canadian hours in the evening. Playing on Canadian only poker rooms was less attractive because they were quiet regardless of what hour of the day they would play.
The employees played poker for nearly two years while under the employment of the company but were escorted out quietly one morning when they showed up to work. Apparently, the employees were caught because another employee spotted them playing one day and reported them to their supervisors. Unbeknownst to the company, apparently, one of those same supervisors was staking one of the employees. Ironically, the snitch who was initially praised for turning in the pair was fired a few days later for frequenting a dating site.
There is no word as to whether or not the company can or will press charges against the two but it appears as though the company prefers to keep the incident under wraps to avoid attracting bad PR and to not admit to weaknesses in their employee monitoring systems or encourage other employees from acting similarly.
The company has recommended that the former employees seek gambling help.
Most companies nowadays have safeguards to prevent employees with Internet from visiting certain types of websites and from downloading certain files to their computer networks. However, with the help of a USB key, a poker application in the form of an executable file can be downloaded onto a computer, thereby bypassing the need to ever visit the poker website for the download. To reduce suspicion, the conventional poker icon can be redesigned and renamed to look like ordinary everyday desktop software and the application can be deleted outright or stored in the computer’s recycling bin after each use. Online poker and casino games can also be played on mobile phones.
Many company employees use laptops. With the help of an iPhone 4 or via BlackBerry tethering, a person can set up the iPhone as a hotspot to gain internet access directly onto their laptop instead of using the company’s internet which passes through the network and thereby bypass browsing filters set by the company. Of course you will incur bandwidth charges and have a slightly slower internet connection by doing this but not so bad if you are earning money in the process.
The two office employees told the source that they earned a modest salary of about $30,000 per year from their job but earned over $100,000 from playing online poker at the office on various poker websites for a couple of hours per day. After consulting with a tax lawyer, even though he told them it was unethical to do so, they were advised to keep their day job since it presented certain advantages. Since their primary occupation was their office job, their poker winnings are technically considered tax-free which made it even more appealing for them.