Spring time heralds cherry blossoms, spring break, and most important: March Madness. And what do NCAA basketball tournaments bring? Excitement, surprises and bracket pools. More money is bet on NCAA brackets and bracket pools than on the Super Bowl! Interest is at all-time high this year because Kentucky is on its way to a perfect season — the last time any NCAA had a perfect season was in 1976.

Many offices, families, neighborhood bars, and fantasy leagues have bracket pools. Sometimes the winners leave the bracket contests with upwards of 300 to 500 dollars. Recently, a client asked me if he could participate legally in one of these bracket pools.

Here’s my answer:

If the bracket pool is incidental to a “bonafide social relationship” where no bookie is involved, then participating in a bracket pool is legal under Colorado statute 18-10-102(2)(d) CRS. Keep in mind that even a person who engages in illegal, professionally driven gambling (meaning, through a bookie) only commits a Class 1 petty offense. The penalty for this offense is a ticket and a fine — no jail is possible.

So enjoy your bracket pool, but make sure it is connected to a social relationship, such as co-workers and friends.

Shaun Kaufman Law is experienced in the defense of gambling charges, and will stand for you in court to achieve the best result.

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Managing Partner at Shaun Kaufman Law
Shaun Kaufman has 30 years of in-court experience, with hundreds of hours spent defending numerous high-profile cases including homicide, white-collar theft and RICO offenses. Specialties: Criminal defense, personal injury, business litigation, DUI.

Shaun Kaufman Law: 303-309-0430
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