Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Hello and thank you for your question.Office pools are considered illegal gambling in Massachusetts and there is no way to get permission to conduct an office pool. The only exception may be for Massachusetts non-profit organizations for charitable purposes. Those regulations and information on how to obtain a permit may be found here http://www.mass.gov/ago/doing-business-in-massachusetts/public-charities-or-not-for-profits/soliciting-funds/raffles-and-other-gaming-activity/faqs-about-nonprofit-gaming-events.html
Massachusetts General Law, c. 271, sec. 7 prohibits setting up, promoting, or operating "a lottery for money or other property of value." The term "lottery" encompasses a large variety of activities, which include three elements: (1) payment of a price for (2) the possibility of winning a prize, depending upon (3) hazard or chance. Whether or not a particular game or scheme amounts to a lottery depends upon the particular facts and circumstances of each case. A game is considered a lottery and thus subject to the statute if the element of chance predominates and not a lottery if the element of skill predominates. Under this definition, a 100 square office pool would be considered a lottery. That said, fairly run limited office pools are rarely, if ever, prosecuted. A recent informative article on the issue of office pools can be found here http://www.golocalworcester.com/business/legal-matters-is-your-march-madness-office-pool-legal/Please feel free to ask any follow-up questions.
Thank you, I find it hard to believ e the Government minds about a small office pool, but I guess they are all about the $$$. Such a shame that a few friends can not enjoy a little friendly competition :(
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).