Office pools illegal in many states

While you're busy checking free-throw percentages and rebounding margins as you fill in the last teams in your NCAA Tournament bracket, there's something else you might want to take a peek at: your state's criminal code.


"Right now, in every office and factory ... there are people engaging in criminal behavior," Wisconsin state Sen. Jeff Plale said. "It's just silly."

Plale introduced legislation last year that would have legalized most office pools in Wisconsin. The bill never made it to a vote; he plans to reintroduce it.


The association attempted unsuccessfully to have all sports wagering on college games banned in Las Vegas, and prohibits student-athletes, coaches and administrators from taking part in bracket pools with an entry fee.


"All gambling starts out as recreation," said Keith Whyte, director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. "Obviously for some people it progresses to a problem."

letter of the law

According to

- In South Carolina, anyone who "records or registers bets or wagers or sells pools or makes books, with or without writing, upon the result of any trial or contest of skill, speed or power of endurance of man or beast" is guilty of a misdemeanor. Offenders can be fined up to $1,000 and/or imprisoned.

- In Georgia, anyone who "makes a bet upon the partial or final result of any game or contest or upon the performance of any participant in such game or contest" is guilty of a misdemeanor.

-- From wire reports