In a statement, Chamber President Liaquat Ali said the fourth draw may be a significant workplace issue..
“The introduction of this new Play Whe draw time at 4 pm only serves to exacerbate the productivity problem in the workplace,” he said.
Play Whe is called at 10.30 am, 1 pm, 4 pm and 6.30 pm. NLCB introduced the 10.30 am draw in 2011.
Ali said the gambling related activities were usually carried out during work hours although employees have allocated break periods.
“These Play Whe times encourage workers to skip out of work, leaving duties unattended. This situation impacts the workplace with negative economic effects,” he said.
He said some companies have addressed the topic of gambling into their company’s policies and management also continues to explore various methods to compel higher productivity amongst its staff.
“With the many casinos available, as well as, legal and illegal gambling opportunities, the Chamber believes that the government and NLCB should also take some responsibility to ensure that our nation is not consumed by gambling, making it a part of a new culture,” he said.
Newsday spoke to a few players of the game who agreed with Ali.
“It really does take up a lot of your time, sometimes you go to play a mark, thinking it would take five minutes and then you meet up a line, and people who have to play a million marks, and by the time you get back to work it’s a lot of time lost,” one man who gave his name as Marlon said.
Sharon James said she felt the fourth draw was a bit too much.
“You ever see that line when it’s close to 1 pm? It is usually out the door, that must take away time from people who have work to do,” she said.
She said she usually plays once in a while but during her lunch hour.
“I can’t walk out of work at four different times in the day, that will be too much, I might lose my job for a few extra dollars, and that does not make sense,” she said. Newsday tried contacting officials of NLCB, but their phones went unanswered up until press time.