Spring time heralds cherry blossoms, spring break, and most important: March Madness. And what do NCAA basketball tournaments bring? Excitement, surprises and bracket pools!

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 statuteĀ 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. You can contact Shaun Kaufman Law 24/7 atĀ 303-309-0430

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