|According to a report from the Chicago Tribune newspaper, office pools on social networks such as Facebook where bets are being placed on America’s current college basketball championships have come under scrutiny from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).|
“It is fair to say this raises questions,' said Ross Rice, Spokesperson for the Bureau.
'There could be a violation if there's a payout and if the operators take a cut.'
The newspaper reported that, even before the ‘March Madness’ basketball tournament began this week, more than 20,000 online pools were circulating on Facebook, which has around 70 million members. Many of the pools may have just one or two members but others have reached into the hundreds although it is unclear how many have asked for money to play.
Damon Martin, a real estate agent from North Carolina, has set up a pool and is charging $20 to join. He stated that he doesn't know half of the people who are participating but that as long as ‘they send me a PayPal invoice, no problem, I will tell them they will be in the group’.
'We originally planned on having ten to twelve people in it but already we're up to 40,' said Martin.
'We may have a pretty big pot.'