Workplace betting on the rise

It probably won’t surprise many cubicle-dwellers this time of year, but the number of employees who report betting in the workplace is on the rise: According to a survey by, 71.5 percent of those surveyed took part in office betting pools, while 82 percent reported that their co-workers participated.

It’s a substantial increase from 2008, when only 58 percent admitted to betting. And while 47 percent of workers didn’t know their companies’ policies, employers probably shouldn’t scramble to amend them. “If it’s done in moderation, it can be seen as something that is fun and harmless to the overall office,” says Jason Levin,’s resident career expert. “The cost of this fun is not expensive, and 40 percent won under $200.”

Even though the prize may be modest, Levin points out that a couple hundred dollars can go a long way if you’re a boss with some lucky picks. “This is a really great team-building opportunity,” he says. “If you’re a manager and use the money to take your team out to lunch, it’s a great opportunity to show how you care about your team.”

March getting madder

Though the Super Bowl was the most popular office betting event in 2008 (51 percent of workers reported their offices betting on the game versus 48 percent for March Madness), basketball is bouncing back in 2011: 65 percent reported office brackets, while 58 percent saw Super Bowl bets this year.

Follow Monica Weymouth on Twitter at @MonicaatMetro.

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