New York Penal Law § 180.51: Tampering with a sports contest in the first degree

Tampering with a horserace is illegal in the same way that bribery related to a sports contest is illegal. Under New York Penal Law § 180.51, you could be charged with tampering with a sports contest in the first degree if you:

  1. Affect any horse involved in a pari-mutuel horse race by administering to the horse in any controlled substance;
  2. Knowingly enter, ride or drive in any pari-mutuel horse race horse under an assumed name, or deceptively out of its proper class, or that has been disguised to be any other or different horse from that which it actually is;
  3. Knowingly falsely register with the jockey club, United States trotting association, American quarterhorse association or national steeplechase and hunt association a horse previously registered under a different name; or
  4. Agree with someone else to enter a misrepresented or drugged animal in a pari-mutuel horse race.

It is important to note that this statute applies to pacing horses, mares, colts, geldings or fillies.

Example

David was a race horse trainer who trained a horse known as David's Horse. Before a big race David gave David's Horse a stimulant that was a controlled substance in order to ensure that David's Horse ran faster than usual. David's House came in 5th. Even though David's Horse did not win do well in the race, David could still be prosecuted for tampering with a sports contest in the first degree.

Related Offenses
  1. Sports bribing: New York Penal Law § 180.40
  2. Sports bribe receiving: New York Penal Law § 180.45
  3. Impairing the integrity of a pari-mutuel betting system in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 180.53
Defenses

In order to be guilty of tampering with a sports contest in the first degree your actions must have been with the intent to influence the outcome of the horserace. If there was some other reason for your actions, or if your actions where accidental and not intentional, then you are not guilty of tampering with a sports contest in the first degree.

Sentence

Tampering with a sports contest in the first degree is a Class E felony. If you are convicted of this offense you could be sent to prison for up to 4 years. You could also receive a probation sentence of up to 5 years and be required to pay a fine.

New York Penal Law § 180.51: Tampering with a sports contest in the first degree

A person is guilty of tampering with a sports contest in the first degree when, with intent to influence the outcome of a pari-mutuel horse race:

  1. He affects any equine animal involved in the conduct or operation of a pari-mutuel horse race by administering to the animal in any manner whatsoever any controlled substance listed in § thirty-three hundred six of the public health law; or
  2. He knowingly enters or furnishes to another person for entry or brings into this state for entry into a pari-mutuel horse race, or rides or drives in any pari-mutuel horse race any running, trotting or pacing horse, mare, gelding, colt or filly under an assumed name, or deceptively out of its proper class, or that has been painted or disguised or represented to be any other or different horse, mare, gelding, colt or filly from that which it actually is; or
  3. He knowingly and falsely registers with the jockey club, United States trotting association, American quarterhorse association or national steeplechase and hunt association a horse, mare, gelding, colt or filly previously registered under a different name; or
  4. He agrees with one or more persons to enter such misrepresented or drugged animal in a pari-mutuel horse race. A person shall not be convicted of a violation of this subdivision unless an overt act is alleged and proved to have been committed by one of said persons in furtherance of said agreement.
New York Tampering with a Sports Contest in the First Degree Lawyer

If you are under investigation for tampering with a sports contest in the first degree, it is important that you have experienced representation. Sports tampering is a serious offense. If you are convicted you could end up serving a 4 year prison sentence. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who are accused of various types of crimes. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations:

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