HARRISBURG, March 20, 2013 – With “March Madness” pools seemingly available everywhere this week, State Senator Lisa M. Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh/Monroe) today reiterated her call to legalize small sports betting pools.

“These pools are available in nearly every social club or bar you go to — and copying machines are churning out NCAA brackets from Easton to Erie,” Boscola quipped. “With most Pennsylvanians mistakenly believing these pools are legal or ignoring the law for being outdated, the time has come quit viewing thousands and thousands of our citizens as lawbreakers.”

Boscola described small sports betting pools as a fun, spirited and harmless way to test one’s knowledge and luck at sports.

Under her legislation (Senate Bill 483), betting pools would be legal if:

  • the entry amount is $20 or less;
  • there are no more than 100 participants;
  • There is an established social, professional or familial relationship between contestants; and
  • all pool proceeds must be awarded to the contestants or donated to a bona fide charitable organization.

Since she originally introduced the bill last March, Boscola said many constituents have voiced their support. She said most sports fans join a pool at work, with family members, or with friends at local civic and volunteer clubs. She said her legislation merely “legitimizes an activity that most people already rightly assume is legitimate.”

Boscola also pointed out to her colleagues today in remarks on the Senate floor that other states have legalized small betting pool legislation including Vermont and most recently, Montana.

The Northampton County lawmaker, who successfully predicted Lehigh’s upset of Duke in the NCAA tourney last year, said Villanova could be this year’s sleeper.

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