WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Did you ever win one of those office pools where you fill out the March Madness bracket, and when you won, did you report the income on your taxes?
If you didn't, technically you broke Florida law. But don't worry, chances are you will not wind up in court.
Chris Kidwell of Fort Lauderdale said he frequently takes part in March Madness basketball pools and found out that winnings can be taxed.
"That's ridiculous," Kidwell said. "It's all fun and games."
"It's not like they’re running Ponzi [schemes] and committing massive frauds," added Inger Garcia of The Acreage. "This is friends betting."
WPTV spoke with Miami attorney Daniel Wallach, a leading expert on sports betting in Florida, to get his thoughts.
"Gambling winnings have always been taxable," Wallach warned.
Wallach said law enforcement doesn't care about office pools or side bets, as long as they're small.
"But when you're dealing with thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars, that's going to be a giant red flag," Wallach said.
So, using a nationally advertised website or local casino, could you legally place a bet on Florida Atlantic University or the University of Miami?
According to the website "FanSided," a bet on FAU to win the national title is listed at -650, which means a $10 bet will bring you a $75 payout.
"You're not going to be able to place a bet in the state of Florida," Wallach said, who pointed to the 2021 federal court ruling that shut down sports betting in Florida as it prepared to launch.
A judge ruled a compact between the state and the Seminole Tribe violated federal law.
Most business and political leaders want sports betting legalized. Take New York state, which is similar in size to Florida, where sports betting brought in $667 million last year. However, the Sunshine State made nothing on sports betting revenue.