Office pools bigger than online betting for March Madness
By paul
March Madness, the NCAA College Basketball tournament, is one of the year’s highlights for bookmakers in Nevada, offshore sports books and organized crime – but most of the money bet will be via office pools. Which is fine if you live in New Jersey, where such pools are legal, but not in others: Florida, for instance, specifically bars any exchange of funds in a game of chance, and violations of the law are punishable as a second-degree misdemeanor.

However, some companies are now banning office pools, saying that they cause lost productivity.

The FBI estimates that $2.5 billion was wagered last year on the tournament, the majority of that being wagered on office pools.

Las Vegas bookmakers 'only' took $80 million in NCAA tourney bets last year.

But Ed Looney, executive director of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey estimates another 20 % on top of that number could be added in strictly illegal gambling, either through a local bookie or online.

'Organized crime is still a huge player in sports betting,' Looney said. 'Much bigger than the Internet, though we are seeing a lot more action over the Internet.'

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