It’s that time of year where work productivity decreases from March Madness. While watching games in your free time or at the water cooler is legal, what about brackets and placing bets on winners and losers?
Gambling offenses are a Class C Misdemeanor in Texas, punishable up to a $500 fine. Online gambling can become a federal offense with more penalties, as it affects multiple states and interstate commerce. Placing bets through another gambler, middle man, or “bookie” is illegal, and these individuals and their clients are busted all the time.
Betting pools between friends and coworkers is one of the most popular activities in March Madness. Joining a “pool” in a private setting is legal, but in a public setting such as a workplace, it’s illegal if money is involved. You heard that right, joining an office “pool” is illegal, although it is extremely rare you will be prosecuted at the federal or state level in Texas. Have fun this March and don’t hesitate when it comes to office pools.