The annual NCAA Basketball Tournament, known as “March Madness,” can become a big problem at work.
"You should understand your office policy prior to filling out your bracket," said attorney Michael J. Miller, managing partner with Miller & Wynn, P.C., Attorneys at Law.
According to the American Gaming Association, 40 million Americans fill out more than 70 million brackets and wager more than $2 billion.
Miller said there are several reasons why office managers discourage office pools:
• Liability – Gambling is illegal in most states.
• Productivity – Significant drop in worker productivity.
• Use of Company Resources – This includes photo copies.
• Non-Participants – Not everyone is a fan of basketball or gambling.
"Georgians participating in these office pools are breaking federal law," Miller added. " But the reality is that employers face significantly higher risk than employees."
Miller said most pools are harmless but gambling is a serious issue.
"An out-of-control gambling addition can lead to thousands of dollars in losses, to massive personal debt, to home foreclosure and to personal bankruptcy," he explained. "Often people in gambling trouble need legal help, and we're here for them."