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Gerard McCloskey Featured in Long Island Business News Article Addressing March Madness and the Law

Each year, March Madness sweeps through the country – bringing with it countless hours of strategizing, office conversations and the quest to build the perfect bracket in the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament. Throughout the month of March, you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement of what has become one of the most exciting and most-followed tournaments in sports today – and in March, just about everyone becomes a college basketball fan.

With so much excitement and attention surrounding the tournament every year, and NCAA bracket pools in countless offices nationwide, the Long Island Business News recently looked at another aspect of this subject: the legal aspects of March Madness brackets. CGMB Partner Gerard McCloskey was interviewed for this article to provide legal insight into this complex topic and evolving area of the law– and was featured in the article that recently appeared both in print and online.

The article – “March Madness Brackets Toeing a Thin Legal Line” – looks at whether March Madness brackets and similar types of contests violate federal and/or state law, pointing to a number of laws that brackets may violate. The article also addresses Internet companies/websites that collect entry fees for tournaments, pointing out that although they appear to be breaking federal law, “the websites are almost never disciplined and gambling laws are seemingly never enforced when it comes to March Madness.” In pointing out why this may be, Gerard offers legal insight into the topic by noting “They are not enforced because of the sheer number of pools, the differing regulations in each state, and minimal money at stake.”

In looking more deeply into the bigger issue of sports gambling and the law, the article notes New Jersey’s current case pending in the US Supreme Court challenging the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 and working to legalize sports betting. The article points out that if NJ wins its case and is allowed to legalize sports betting, it may open the door for countless other states, including New York, to do the same.

With current laws still in effect, however, the article closes with Gerard offering legal insight for those involved in the standard office pool – noting that “For simple office pools, at least in New York, as long as you are not creating a website to advertise and solicit bets, you keep the number of participants down, the amount of money waged to under $500, and the organizer does not take a cut of profits, you won’t attract law enforcement’s eye.”

To read the entire LIBN article about March Madness and the law featuring CGMB partner Gerard McCloskey, click here. In addition, if you have questions in any area of the law or are seeking legal insight on a wide variety of legal issues, call us 24/7 at 516-294-0300, or email us at [email protected].


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