Are office pools for the Super Bowl or Final Four permitted?

Author: Jill Gormley, Strong and Clear Communications

Federal law does not explicitly prohibit workplace gambling, but some federal agencies may prohibit gambling of any kind. Further, some states have laws that address gambling in the workplace. Outside of these parameters, it is up to the employer to decide whether or not to permit office pools for sporting events. Some employers may choose to ban gambling entirely. Other employers may choose to allow employees to participate in gambling pools for certain designated events like the Super Bowl or Final Four. In such situations, it is best practice to establish clear rules and guidelines such as the maximum amount of the bet and that gambling activity in connection with office pools should not interfere with an employee's work-related duties and responsibilities. An employer should make sure that the office pool is a casual bet between co-workers and not a mechanism for one employee to profit at the expense of others.