Is your March Madness Pool Bracket Legal?


By Ellis Eskew

March Madness is here, and you can find many people filling out those brackets.

"In the final four I have Louisville, Florida, Michigan State, and Wisconsin,," said March Madness Fan Will Holmes.

But what some may consider as just plain fun can also have you breaking the law in Alabama.

According to state law, gambling is a Class "C" misdemeanor, but it makes an exception for players who are "engaged in a social game in a private place," which is open to the interpretation of a judge.

Pastor Roger Olsen is the resource development coordinator for the Alabama Council on Compulsive Gambling.

His insight on gambling comes from his own struggle.

"I am a recovering gambling addict with 19 years clean time," said Olsen.

And he says March Madness can lead to more severe problems.

"It is just a harmless, simple way of entertainment and fun. But for some people it becomes a problem and when you cross that invisible line, then there's no way of going back. And all of a sudden it goes from being fun and entertaining to I got to be winning at all costs," said Olsen.

But March Madness fans we talked to see it as harmless....even if it's not exactly legal.

"I don't have a problem with that. It's all for fun. As long as you aren't taking food off your family's table then go for it. It's just for fun you know. March Madness is a fun thing. Office pools are  a fun thing. I like it," said Swink.


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