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Pooled Bets – Fun at the Office, but is it Legal?

Author: Neha Agrawal

So we know that through Tote betting, horse racing has betting pools. We also know that through football matches, there are pools too. But what about that oft heard but seldom thought about office pool? Just what is that all about, and is it even legal to have such a thing?

Office betting pools are a type of syndicate that is made up from workers, colleagues or on the odd occasion can even be away from the office and made between friends, a friendly betting pool. Basically, in its simplest definition, it is an accumulated mass of money that has been collected by the aforementioned staff, colleagues or friends and put into a jackpot that will be paid out upon the outcome of a particular event.

Once such example is the FIFA World Cup. Perhaps your boss and your colleagues are all interested in having friendly bets with one another over who will win the World Cup. Well rather than wager a fiver here against Mr. X and fiver there against Mr. Y, it is far simpler to throw everybody’s money into a pot and keep a list of who has backed who, to win the tournament. Right there and then, you have the makings of your very own betting pool.

Once the winner of the tournament is announced, the person (or persons) who backed the winning side to win the competition is paid out the jackpot (all the money in the pool) as the winner of the betting pool.

It seems simple enough, and many offices and friends do their own betting pools and play the same way. It isn’t always about sports, and sometimes it can be about something as simple or as childish as who will get married first, or even who will get promoted first for example.

Now betting pools that are endorsed by any licensed bookkeeper and not entirely legal, but they seldom attract any attention outside of the people playing them, that nobody really causes a big fuss about them.

Gambling pools are not only a great way to make a fistful of money at a relatively low cost; they are also a great way many friends and colleagues to get together in unison and bond. Many people run their own betting pools, in fact you’re probably part of one right now. Do you have a works lottery going? Where one person buys the tickets for the company and you all put it? Well that is a kind of pool bets too you know. Where you all split the cash should somebody win.