March Madness at Work: Place Your Bets Here

For Immediate Release

Apr 1, 2008

Office pools not banned in the majority of workplaces, survey shows

Alexandria, Va. – March Madness office pools at work are in high swing as the NCAA men’s basketball tournament works its way down to the final two teams that will play for the championship next Monday night.

In more than seven out of 10 workplaces, pools are an accepted part of modern work life, according to a survey released today by the world’s largest human resources association. Most respondents said they have no formal or informal policies regarding this sort of gambling in the workplace.

“Office pools, whether for the NCAA tournament, the Oscars, or other major event, are popular non-work-related experiences for employees,” said Susan R. Meisinger, president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management. “Even though the pools can potentially affect employee productivity, few organizations have official policies against them.”

For the 19 percent of organizations with formal workplace gambling policies (up 5 percent from last year), the Gambling in the Workplace Survey from SHRM reveals that most prohibit it on company premises (83 percent). Other aspects of policies include disciplinary actions, a clear definition of gambling, and bans on money being exchanged.

In the last 12 months, 3 percent of surveyed organizations disciplined employees for violating their gambling policies.

The national survey was done last month among human resource professionals who are members of SHRM. More information is available at

About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at


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