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Top 3 Legal Tips for Sports Betting at Work

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

The Super Bowl is this Sunday. March Madness is right around the corner. And with several states legalizing sports betting recently, 2019 has the potential to be the biggest sports gambling year yet.

So, what do small biz owners need to know before sports betting invades their offices? Here are a few legal pointers.

Office pools and betting squares are especially popular come Super Bowl time, and while you may not need to outlaw all gambling in the office, you'll want to make sure your cross-cubicle bets don't get out of hand. If there is a Super Bowl pool in your office, make sure no one is skimming money off the top or taking a fee for organizing the pool, keep the buy-ins and dollar amounts low, and limit the pool to employees.

It doesn't need to be a sporting event to involve a little wagering. Who's winning Best Actor? And what odds can I get on the special effects category? And does betting on the outcome of a voted category count as gambling at all? That might depend on how your Oscars pool is constructed and sports betting laws, which can differ depending on where your business is located. You might want to check with local and state gaming ordinances as well as any internal company polices.

Everyone does it, including Jim from accounting who hasn't watched a game all season. But does that make it legal? Up until last year, March Madness pools were generally prohibited under the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. But, after the Supreme Court overturned the law, several states have been legalizing and regulating sports gambling. But just because betting is legal in your state doesn't mean all office pools are OK.

You might want to check with a commercial attorney before sanctioning any office gambling, sports-related or not. You can find one below.

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