NCAA March Madness: Watch Out for Online Betting Pools

Published March 11, 2015 by Mike P

NCAA March Madness: Watch Out for Online Betting Pools

NCAA March Madness is now underway this spring. Basketball fans from all over the US will be entering online pools, but are these free from risk?

NCAA basketball really hits its stride when spring arrives, and March Madness is the name given to the elimination portion of the season. For NCAA March Madness 2015, many Americans throughout the country are entering office pools by paying an entry fee. The entrant with the winning team will then claim the prize pool at the end of the tournament.

Organisers at Greatest Risk in US

For the vast majority of entrants, there is minimal concern given to entering these annual pools. However, the people who should perhaps be worried are the organisers. While in most cases the organisers of pools are of no concern to law enforcement authorities, those who retain a percentage of the prize pool are viewed as a bookmaker in the eyes of the law.

Gaming research specialist David Schwartz, who works at the University of Nevada, made the crucial distinction. William R Eadington, also from the University of Nevada, explained that almost all cases of sports pool betting is actually illegal, “but nobody really cares”. Basically, the point is that organisers who take a cut of the money are positioning themselves as the prime targets for law enforcement.

The FBI has previously attempted to curb online sports pools in the US by warning Facebook users engaging in the practice. Those doing so were warned that their activity was illegal in the US. Hosting online pools will put organisers at a greater risk than quietly hosting events within their office. Earning revenue from pools makes it a criminal matter for the FBI to handle.

Online Sports Betting Safer: Where to Bet Legally

The safer alternative to acting as a paid bookie is to seek an online sportsbook. International operators bet365 Sports, William Hill Sports, and Winner Sports all cover most major US sporting events, including March Madness. Visit any of those sports betting sites for competitive odds on NCAA basketball.

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