Can I Go To Jail In California For Gambling?

Gambling accounts for a significant part of revenues for the United States. According to statistics, the industry makes an overall contribution of nearly $240 billion to the U.S. economy every year with more than 700 hundred people employed in the industry. In particular, there are more than 1,600 casinos throughout the country, and constitutes a little over a third of the entire gambling industry followed by lotteries and gaming machines.

But did you know that there are several legal restrictions to gambling to the point that you could get arrested for doing so? Yes, in states, such as California, gambling, under certain conditions, can land you in jail. The conditions state that if a bank or a house participates in a game of gambling or even takes a cut, then that game, under PC 330, becomes an unlawful ‘percentage’ or ‘banking’ game, for which you will get prosecuted.

The illegality of the condition does not extend to a game of dice or cards, such as poker or pai gow with others. It is legal in California for you to play any of these games for money on the condition that no ‘bank’ or ‘house’ is found participating or taking a certain percentage of the money in the game.

Now the question is: ‘Do these restrictions apply to sports betting?’Under the Penal Code in California’s bookmaking law, running or playing any role facilitating pool-selling activities or bookmaking, which enable people to bet on games, is illegal and if you are found conducting any such activity, you can be convicted.

You are only considered guilty with an infraction if the pool in which you participated has no one who acts as a “bookie” or is found to make a profit off the network by obtaining a certain percentage of the bets. This only applies in the case where the total bet amount does not exceed $2,500.

California places strict laws and regulation on what it considers gambling and use of illegal operations. Recently, hundreds of local and federal agents raided two popular card clubs and made arrests in as many as seven different states as part of their efforts to shut down an illegal gambling operation spanning multiple states. If you have been charged with illegal gambling in California, contact Kosnett Law Firm today for a free consultation.

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