Is your office sweepstake legal?

Is your office sweepstake legal?

Later today the country will be fizzing with nervous expectation. Forget the England v Uruguay match, Joan in Accounts drew Côte d’Ivoire in the office sweepstake 2 weeks ago.

Will the Ivorian eleven beat Columbia? Or will Los Cafeteros from Bogotà triumph over Les Éléphants from Abidjan?

 Goooooooooooooolll!

To be fair, this is the least of the everybody’s concerns. The key question is …

… did anybody in Accounts consider whether the sweepstake was set up legally in the first place?

Running an illegal sweepstake could result in up to 51 weeks in prison and a fine of up to £5,000 under section 263 of the Gambling Act 2005. To put this fine in a footballing context, this amounts to about 0.02% of Christiano Ronaldo’s annual salary or what Wayne Rooney could earn in just under 3 hours.

Who’d have thought that plunging your hand into a hat and drawing out bits of scrappy paper with random flags and clip-art footballs badly photocopied onto them could be illegal?

Well, it can be but it doesn’t need to be.

(Anecdotally, I suspect that most office sweepstakes will be legal. It is not as though the news wires are buzzing with tales of hundreds office workers being led to the clink wit

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