March Madness Betting Is Illegal in the US – But Do Authorities Care?

Written by Michael F. on 2010-03-19 at 13:57
American Gambling Laws - GamingZion
March Madness is now in full swing, and sports fans across the United States have already filled out NCAA college basketball tournament brackets, hoping to win some extra cash. According to American gambling laws, however, this sort of sports betting is illegal in most states. Yet it’s happening everywhere, from the office to local bars. The question is simple – will the authorities care? 

In a recent article coming out of Rockford, Illinois, it seems that law enforcement agents are overwhelmed by the idea of trying to control the situation. Because of the sheer number of people participating in tournament pools across the country, it is unlikely that police will get involved.  

“We aren’t actively looking for these things,” said Rockford Deputy Chief Theo Glover. “Everybody does the office pool, and we would have to be omnipresent to find out who is doing it for money and who is doing it just for the enjoyment of being able to pick the winner.” 

Glover said that if complaints were received about a particular person or establishment, an investigation would be necessary. But it seems unlikely that authorities in the US will proactively seek out people who wager on March Madness basketball.  

“If it is brought to our attention, then we will go check into it,” he said. “We don’t condone it, and if we find that it is happening, we will act appropriately.” 

Players who are uneasy at the thought of being caught gambling might consider placing their wagers at an online sportsbook in the US. All internet sportsbooks that currently accept US players are in fact operated out of foreign countries where American gambling laws do not apply. These sites allow players to bet freely on sporting events all over the world from the privacy of their own homes. 

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