Basketball bracket-mania may cost employers billions

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – March Madness is officially in full swing, with the NCAA men’s basketball tournament about to tip-off.

The American Gaming Association is estimating that Americans will wager $9.2 billion on March Madness this year. That number is up from last year.

Much of that madness happening in the workplace.

A report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimates that more than 50.5 million American workers, or 20%, could participate in office pools this year. The loss of productivity in the opening week of March Madness could cost employers nearly $4 billion in lost revenue.

“I think it would take away from having something to look forward to and just keeping up with the conversation. I don’t think it would stop the work from getting done,” Ronnie Venson of Springfield said.

According to that same report, each hour of the workday wasted on building brackets or watching games will cost employers $1.3 billion.

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