New York Penal Law § 225.10: Promoting gambling in the first degree

New York has strict laws regulating gambling. One prohibited activity is commonly referred to as "bookmaking." Bookmaking involves setting odds on a particular activity, accepting and making bets, and paying out the winnings on behalf of other people. Bookmakers typically make money by charging a fee to their customers. They also often lend money to their customers. However, bookmaking is a type of unlawful promoting of gambling prohibited by New York gambling law. Under New York Penal Law § 225.10 you could be charged promoting gambling in the first degree if you knowingly advance or profit from unlawful gambling by:

  1. Engaging in bookmaking by receiving or accepting in any one day more than five bets totaling more than $5000; or
  2. Receiving, in connection with a lottery or policy scheme or enterprise, (a) money or written records from a person other than a player, or (b) more than $500 in any one day of money played in such scheme or enterprise.
Example

An undercover police officer entered a coffee shop where he observed several people playing cards and playing slot machines. He also observed Anthony Calabrese hand Maria Polanco an unsealed envelope that appeared to contain several mutuel race policy slips. The slips were partially in open view. Polanco then handed Calabrese a large quantity of money as well as a slip of paper with the name "Dennis" on a it. Concluding that the slips were illegal mutuel race horse policy slips, the officer arrested Calabrese and Polanco. Both were charged with promoting gambling in the first degree in violation of New York Penal Law § 225.10. People v. Polanco (N.Y. App. Div., 2002)

Related Offenses
  1. Possession of gambling records in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 225.20
  2. Possession of a gambling device: New York Penal Law § 225.32
Defenses

You have not committed promoting gambling in the first degree if the money involved in the alleged activity does not meet the statutory amounts of $5000 or $500.

Sentence

Promoting gambling in the first degree is a Class E felony. This means that if you are convicted your sentence could include a prison term of up to 4 years, a probation term of 5 years, and payment of a fine.

New York Penal Law § 225.10: Promoting gambling in the first degree

A person is guilty of promoting gambling in the first degree when he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity by:

  1. Engaging in bookmaking to the extent that he receives or accepts in any one day more than five bets totaling more than five thousand dollars; or
  2. Receiving, in connection with a lottery or policy scheme or enterprise, (a) money or written records from a person other than a player whose chances or plays are represented by such money or records, or (b) more than five hundred dollars in any one day of money played in such scheme or enterprise.
New York Promoting Gambling in the First Degree Lawyer

If you are under investigation for promoting gambling in the first degree, it is important that you immediately contact an experience attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. If you are convicted there is a good possibility that you will have to serve time in prison. 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 including both felonies and misdemeanors. 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 gambling crimes in the following locations:

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