The seeds have been announced for the 2009 NCAA Tournament and that means it's time to fill out your bracket for the office pool, right? Well, not so fast! Finding your Cinderella could get you more than a slap on the wrist. According to North Carolina’s gaming laws, any person or organization that operates any game of chance or any person who plays at or bets on any game of chance shall be guilty of a class two misdemeanor, which could mean up to six months in jail. Calling in your picks over the phone could be a federal offense, and the same law could be applied to the endless number of internet betting sites. The punishment for visiting a betting web site on your phone, however, is still unclear. Not to worry, a quick Google search shows nearly a million hits for North Carolina gaming lawyers. If there's no money involved in the office pool, then there's nothing to worry about, unless you're the boss. During the tournament employers lose more than the sixteen seeds. Studies show March Madness costs more than a billion dollars in lost productivity. The FBI estimates nearly $2.5 billion are wagered on the NCAA Tournament each year. Most of the bets take place in office pools and bets less than twenty dollars.
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