Want to add a little extra spice to your March Madness pool?
If you’re a federal employee, you could illegally gamble on GSA-owned or -leased property, or during your working hours. The excitement of breaking the law to win the prize money or free round of drinks might make winning all the more sweet.
Or, you could be fired ― or worse ― in which case that free margarita at Chili’s might not be worth it.
It’s against the Code of Federal Regulations for federal employees as well as contractors, vendors, exhibitors or just members of the public hanging out in a federal building to gamble, according to the National Institutes of Health.
It’s also against the rules if you’re a federal employee to gamble during your working hours, regardless of where you are.
Oh, you can still have an office pool “purely for fun or picking winners to claim bragging rights.” But if there’s a prize for winning a game of chance and there’s “consideratiion for the opportunity to play the game,” don’t do it.
But what if you do do it? What could possibly happen?
Well, ”[v]iolations of the regulations may be cause for disciplinary action by the employee’s agency, which may be in addition to any penalty prescribed by law,” according to NIH.
The upshot? Avoid the risk; if you’re going to gamble, don’t do it during working hours or at work.