More than three-quarters of gambling related to March Madness is illegal, according to the American Gaming Association. But before you opt out of your office bracket pool, keep in mind that few people, if any, are ever prosecuted for gambling on brackets.
“It’s pretty rare for these things to be prosecuted,” Chris Moyer, the director of media relations for the American Gaming Association told the Washington Examiner.
“They are never prosecuted,” Ryan Ellis, an enrolled agent and the tax policy director of Americans for Tax Reform, told the Examiner. “The IRS doesn’t have that kind of bandwidth.”
If a crime is never prosecuted, why make it illegal in the first place?
“There is no tax reason for these pools to be illegal,” Ellis said. “They are illegal due to rent-seeking regulations on the part of casinos. … All voluntary economic activities should, by default, be legal. The burden of proof is on the state to show why not.”