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January 30, 2018

Don’t Roll the Dice on Office Pools

Even casual betters may like to put down a bet during the Super Bowl or March Madness, but doing so on university time or with university resources is not allowed.  Additionally, placing such a bet is likely considered illegal gambling in the State of Illinois. 

Under State law, gambling includes any game of chance or skill played for money or anything else of value.  While there are a number of provisions in the law that permit gambling in certain settings and situations (for example, the Illinois Lottery, licensed casinos, licensed video gaming in local businesses, etc.), unlicensed sports betting and office pools are not among them. 

Illegal gambling at NIU or during work time violates Illinois law and university policy. This includes Super Bowl “squares,” March Madness office pools and other similar games. In addition, State law and NIU policies do not allow for use of university resources, including computers, e-mail, paper, printers or work-time, for gambling purposes.  Employees who operate or participate in such gambling activities must stop and could be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, especially in the most egregious of situations. 

Northern Illinois University wants its employees to enjoy these major sporting events responsibly, but operating and/or participating in office pools, “squares games” and other forms of gambling are not permitted.  For more information, talk to Human Resource Services, the Office of General Counsel, or the NIU Ethics Officer. 

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (800-426-2537) or feel free to contact the NIU Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 815-753-9191.