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Subject: March Madness betting in GA
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Author Messages
LanceG1
(Georgia)

Posts:29


03/14/2019 5:34 PM  
I'm on the board and just found out our social committee is doing a march madness betting bracket with one of our board members running the pot. From what I can find it looks like this is technically illegal in Georgia, though there is some debate about if it would be enforced or not.

My gut feeling is that we should steer clear of this. Anybody else have any advice?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7932


03/14/2019 7:22 PM  
Can you clarify if they are using the social committee money to do so? Or is it just happens to be the people on the committee amongst themselves doing it? For instance, I've worked at places they have football squares. No one is using the company money, they just happen to work at the company.

Former HOA President
LanceG1
(Georgia)

Posts:29


03/14/2019 8:47 PM  
It's an official event presented by the HOA social committee.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7932


03/15/2019 4:00 AM  
I would steer clear of it and so should the HOA. The fallout if there was any, would fall on ALL the owners participating or not. The HOA is ALL the members. Funding the committee comes from the HOA funds...

Ask them to NOT use HOA funds when doing brackets. It's okay if they want to do it on their own and with their own money. Just don't drag everyone else in to it.

Former HOA President
LanceG1
(Georgia)

Posts:29


03/15/2019 8:32 AM  
That is my take as well. For me the problematic thing is when flyers are handed out to all homes that say.

"The Social Committee at invites you to participate in our first ever March Madness Bracket Tourney. If interested emails us at @gmail.com. Payment of $5 per bracket can be sent to via xxxxx".

I read it as we (the HOA) are sponsoring an illegal activity.

My suggestion was to remove the monetary aspect to comply with state laws.

If they were doing this on their own, not as part of the social committee I would have no issue with this. But, when it's part of the HOA my take is that we need to be more judicious to ensure that we are not violating laws etc. because we are putting all homeowners potentially on the hook for this.

Lance

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6252


03/15/2019 8:42 AM  
Our Social Committee holds an annual Super Bowl indoor "Tail Gate" potluck. Even non-fans love it. there's a pool that they can bet on, $25 per square.

But yours. Lance, just seems to be folks betting on brackets voluntarily. In what sense is the Soc. Comm. spending HOA $? What GA law does this seem to be breaking?

I'd let them have their fun. Having lived in NC, I know what huge deal this tourney is.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6252


03/15/2019 8:43 AM  
Our Social Committee holds an annual Super Bowl indoor "Tail Gate" potluck. Even non-fans love it. there's a pool that they can bet on, $25 per square.

But yours. Lance, just seems to be folks betting on brackets voluntarily. In what sense is the Soc. Comm. spending HOA $? What GA law does this seem to be breaking?

I'd let them have their fun. Having lived in NC, I know what huge deal this tourney is.
LanceG1
(Georgia)

Posts:29


03/15/2019 9:02 AM  
In Georgia this is considered commercial gambling....and the penalties can be pretty stiff if enforced.

I get that a lot of people like to do this, but, my point is that as an official HOA thing, which a social committee activity is, we need to steer clear of things that go against state and federal law to protect the association.

Think about it this way. Let's say you live in a state that has not legalized Marijuana, but a large percentage of the residents likes to smoke it or grow it. If residents wanted to get together to roll joints, share gardening techniques etc. that would be one thing. I'd turn a blind eye because honestly I don't care. But if someone wants to do this as part of an HOA social committee I would have an issue with it because what happens if the police catch wind and decide to go after it? Now the entire board etc. is implicated.

Lance

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6252


03/15/2019 1:12 PM  
In what sense is this considered "commercial gambling?" Please tell us the GA definition, Lance. I wonder if the word "commercial" suggests that someone's making a "profit."

For some reason, I have the hunch that something else is troubling you too, Lance.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2770


03/15/2019 3:39 PM  
Posted By LanceG1 on 03/14/2019 5:34 PM
I'm on the board and just found out our social committee is doing a march madness betting bracket with one of our board members running the pot. From what I can find it looks like this is technically illegal in Georgia, though there is some debate about if it would be enforced or not.

My gut feeling is that we should steer clear of this. Anybody else have any advice?

It should be clear that the bracket is NOT sanctioned by the association or the board. It doesn't really matter that a board member is running it as long as no association funds are being spent. That would be his personal liability for illegal betting (if it is indeed illegal). Just because thousands of pools and brackets are done every year by all kinds of people doesn't mean it's OK. I'd make sure the board steer clear of any involvement if money is being wagered.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8133


03/15/2019 5:51 PM  
Posted By GenoS on 03/15/2019 3:39 PM
Posted By LanceG1 on 03/14/2019 5:34 PM
I'm on the board and just found out our social committee is doing a march madness betting bracket with one of our board members running the pot. From what I can find it looks like this is technically illegal in Georgia, though there is some debate about if it would be enforced or not.

My gut feeling is that we should steer clear of this. Anybody else have any advice?

It should be clear that the bracket is NOT sanctioned by the association or the board. It doesn't really matter that a board member is running it as long as no association funds are being spent. That would be his personal liability for illegal betting (if it is indeed illegal). Just because thousands of pools and brackets are done every year by all kinds of people doesn't mean it's OK. I'd make sure the board steer clear of any involvement if money is being wagered.




I agree.
LanceG1
(Georgia)

Posts:29


03/15/2019 6:23 PM  
Below are two summaries of the laws.

https://www.pbpatl.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Raffles-2013.pdf

http://www.gambling-law-us.com/State-Laws/Georgia/

If this was legal I would not have an issue with it, but, like I said GA has pretty strict laws against this. If homeowners wanted to do this on their own, not as part of an HOA thing, even if it was a board member this would be their issue and I would not be posting this question. I have no desire to police neighbors and if anything tend to favor a lighter touch to enforcement of rules etc..

My issue with this our board member is stating that it is a official social committee event. They are also communicating via the HOA channels about it. AKA, in their flyer that they put in every houses mailbox, beyond what I have already said also direct people to send questions about the pool to the official hoa social committee e-mail address. From a liability standpoint because they are doing this as a official HOA event, if something happens I'm worried it could come back on the board and/or HOA.

And yes, there are lots of issues that we have beyond this....look at my past questions if you want to get a flavor of what I'm dealing with on this board as one of 5.

LanceG1
(Georgia)

Posts:29


03/15/2019 6:26 PM  
That last response was for KerryL1. GenoS and JohnC46.....that is my read as well.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3148


03/18/2019 5:59 PM  
Hypothetically you could probably find a letter online telling someone to shut it down immediately. Put it on Georgia Commercial Gambling Unit letterhead and scare the crap out of them citing criminal penalties, prison, etc.
RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:511


03/18/2019 7:19 PM  
Assuming the Registered Agent for the Corporation has received a 'letter of demand' to cease and desist from Corporate sponsorship of an illegal activity:


the term mal-feasance would prima facie apply to the directors' actions, said directors then being personally liable for their actions w/o coverage from any D&O insurance in place



theoretically


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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > March Madness betting in GA



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