Office Pools: Are You Ready for Some Football?

20 August 2012 Labor & Employment Law Perspectives Blog

With football season kicking-off soon, office pools will likely be on the rise. Many employers recognize that during this time of year, office pools are very popular and may even foster office camaraderie. The popularity of fantasy football pools has grown significantly and many Web sites, such as and, have programs to assist in developing pools. Nevertheless, office pools are considered illegal in many states if they involve betting real money. The risks for an employer sponsoring an office pool can be even greater. Therefore, to the extent employees are participating in office pools, employers should keep the following in mind:

  • If office pools are illegal in your state or local community, they should not be sponsored, organized, run, endorsed, or encouraged by the employer. Employers also should not offer any contributions, incentives, or rewards for the pool, the participants, or the winners of office pools.
  • If non-management employees are operating office pools, they should be advised that the pools must not be conducted for profit; the total amount collected should be paid out to participants/winners, with no one taking a fee.
  • Office pools should be strictly for fun and to promote office camaraderie, and involve fairly insignificant amounts of money.
  • Participation in office pools should be completely voluntary and employees should not feel pressured into participating. Office pool activity also should be kept separate from work, not disrupt other employees or negatively affect productivity.
  • Office pool brackets or charts should not be openly displayed in the workplace, such as on walls or bulletin boards.

Before allowing office pools of any kind, employers should become familiar with the state and local laws in their jurisdiction to ensure compliance. If office pools are permissible, employers should nonetheless keep the above suggestions in mind and be sensitive to the fact that some employees may be offended by or uncomfortable with gambling of any kind.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Related Services