March Madness is a huge cash cow for the NCAA.
It produces $US770 million per year in TV rights alone.
Bracket pools are part of the reason the tournament is so popular. It gives people a rooting interest they wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Yet the NCAA officially opposes any pool in which participants have to put “something at risk — such as an entry fee or a wager.”
The organisation says these pools are illegal and, worse yet, they are a gambling gateway drug for little kids.
“Does the NCAA really oppose the harmless small-dollar bracket office pool for the Men’s Final Four?
“Yes! Office pools of this nature are illegal in most states. The NCAA is aware of pools involving $US100,000 or more in revenue. Worse yet, the NCAA has learned these types of pools are often the entry point for youth to begin gambling. Fans should enjoy following the tournament and filling out a bracket just for the fun of it, not on the amount of money they could possibly win.”
All American sports leagues are officially opposed to gambling. Since these leagues aren’t in on the profits, they use morality-based appeals to lobby against others making money off their product.
The NCAA is no different here.
[h/t SI’s Stewart Mandel]
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