Your March Madness Office Pool is Probably Illegal - WSPA.com

Your March Madness Office Pool is Probably Illegal

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Your March Madness office pool is probably illegal, but the laws are rarely enforced. Your March Madness office pool is probably illegal, but the laws are rarely enforced.

Right now, basketball fans across the country are busy trying to craft the perfect March Madness bracket.

Demarcus Vernon has filled out a bracket every year since he was 12. Now he can do it on his phone.

“I'm just fascinated with it. It's the best sporting event of the year to me, outside of the Super Bowl," said Vernon.

Brian Reyngold said he's spent 15 hours getting his just right.

“I've taken off the first two days of work for the last 20 years to make sure I go to the tournament," said Reyngold.

But if you ask him, he'll tell you he's playing for “jelly beans.”

“People use the term ‘jelly beans’ because a lot of people frown upon gambling in the South," said Reyngold.

Technically, your office pool is illegal.

South Carolina law bans betting and pool selling. Federal law also makes it illegal to gamble on sports.

Greenville Police said they can't recall a time they've actually arrested someone for their March Madness wager.

The Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office said it doesn't know the wagers are happening unless someone reports it -- and they're not looking out for it.

Basketball fan Barry Newkirk said, even if there's no big pay-off, “it makes the games more interesting, the ones that you know nothing about."

According to the American Gaming Association, the FBI estimates more than $2.5 billion dollars are illegally wagered on March Madness every year.

A Careeer Builder survey finds that one in five workers have participated in a March Madness office pool. The most likely to take part are men, young adults and managers or workers making more than six figures. The survey also says financial services, sales and IT are the industries most likely to have office pools.


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Jenna Troum
Jenna is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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