Place Your Bets Now?

HR Insight editor Celeste Blackburn has written an interesting article for HR Hero Line today on workplace gambling -- just in time for Super Bowl mania and the March Madness office betting-pool seasons. After you read Celeste's analysis, please be a true PATRIOT and, yes, simultaneously a GIANT in the HR Hero World -- a TITAN in your profession, a SAINT no less -- and chime in with your comments. (Sorry, SanFran fans, I'm having troubling figuring out how to weave a 49er into this!) thx tk



  • 12 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Years ago we had cash pools. We don't prohibit them, but there is nobody around to run them and little or no interest. Guess we are a boring lot. :D
  • I've been invited to participate in pools/brackets/squares in the past, but I'm pretty terrible at sports so I usually opt out.

    Fun fact: When I was in high school, I loved college basketball. A friend and I went in together on a $20 bracket pool for March Madness. We came in second and split $200. Glory days.
  • We've always allowed them, although there aren't as many people here who are as rabidly into it as there used to be. I've never participated, just because I don't like to gamble.

    Ten or so years ago, we had people who would start a pool for just about anything....when the first snowfall of the season would be, the date & time & birthweight of a baby someone was expecting, etc. A few people complained because they felt like that was taking the betting pools too far and I had to agree, largely because it seemed like it was taking up an awful lot of work time for the people running it. We told everybody to back off on that sort of thing, but I think somebody still usually does something for the Super Bowl and other big games.
  • Around here betting pools go hand in hand with beer/drinks at company functions or on expense reports. Not allowed. Previous President of the company was a Baptist Deacon.:angel:
  • Still happens some around here but not as much. Was once common to see the pool chart up in the break rooms with names in each square, but not so much lately. Frist time I brought it up, several years back, I was asked if I had noticed that the Chariman of the Board had his name in a few of the squares.... To my knowledge this has not been an issue.
  • We take a "What betting pools?" stance and feign innocence in everything. :angel:
  • I am as clueless as can be -- almost willfully so -- about most sports, but that naivete actually served me rather well in the March Madness pools while I was in law school. I wasn't worried about 7/10 this or statistics that, I just picked what felt right and usually ended up in the top 3. I didn't even choose my teams based on color of uniform (although Tony pointed out that my bracket from last year appeared as though I'd chosen my final four based on the teams with blue in the uniform).

    So, even though I can't be bothered to watch a single one of the games, I actually enjoy having the office pools. A couple of years ago the proceeds of ours went to charity and the winner (the esteemed Jessica Webb-Ayer) got a small trophy and bragging rights. I think that the charitable aspect encouraged a lot more people to participate while also getting around the "ick" factor of office gambling. :)
  • I didn't see my choice listed...

    "We prohibit betting pools at work and I participate."
  • March Madness is right around the corner! Is this something any of you have to be concerned about (other than your own brackets if you participate)? Is it an issue in your workplace?

    Aside from issues with betting, this time of year may bring up other productivity/concentration issues. For example, do you have a problem with people watching the games that fall during work hours? At the beginning of the tournament, games are on almost all day long, and I know many sports fans hate to miss them.
  • These "pools" can be a great benefit if the winner gets braggin rights and all the proceeds collected go to a local charity.
  • We've never really had any issues with pools or March Madness. Our response to these sort of things has always been to focus on work product. If an employee is suddenly being less productive, we will definitely take a look at things like internet usage to help determine cause. But in general, we let employees be, and trust them to do the right thing.

    Of course, we also have prohibitions against streaming media using company resources, so I'm sure that helps as well.
  • Happy March Madness!

    It's officially here, and today is one of the days that employees may be very distracted by all the games taking place during work hours.

    I thought this article made an interesting point about how taking part in office tournaments could be good for morale:


    Is your office participating in a bracket pool or having some other type of March Madness activity?
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