Brackets: To bet or not to bet - KCTV5

Brackets: To bet or not to bet

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Missouri and Kansas statutes define gambling as a game of chance where someone puts something at risk. (KCTV5) Missouri and Kansas statutes define gambling as a game of chance where someone puts something at risk. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The rule is simple, paying any amount of money to enter a March Madness poll is illegal.

But honestly, what are the chances of someone actually getting in trouble?

KCTV5 talked to an employment lawyer to find out.

Missouri and Kansas statutes define gambling as a game of chance where someone puts something at risk, be it as little as $5 or as expensive as a car.

Bert Braud is an Employment Attorney at Popham Law Firm.

He says buy-ins aren’t okay.

“Whether it’s a bracket pool or a poker game, it’s considered gambling, so they’re illegal,” Braud said.

If there is no entry fee, though, Braud says fans are in the clear but will wagering some cash really land people behind bars? In short, no.

“Not much of a risk at all,” Braud said. “Prosecutors aren’t going to get too excited about going after an office pool betting.”

The only risk fans run is if they do one of these four things:

  • Bet anything more than $20.
  • Participate in a pool where organizer takes a cut of the pay.
  • Cross state lines and place bets on the internet.
  • Discriminate who can play, based on race, sex or office position.

But for people who stick to a basic buy in, company-wide, it’s safe to say, most employers turn a blind eye.

“It’s pretty harmless fun, and it probably does a great job of getting people together at work,” Braud said.

And Braud has a point, in fact, a survey from the staffing firm office team shows that 66% of employees find talking sports helps them bond with their boss.

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