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NY Penal Law § 180.45: Sports bribe receiving

The legitimacy of sports contests and the continued popularity of both amateur and professional sports depend on the integrity of those involved. It is expected that athletes give their best efforts to win and that officials officiate contests fairly. Unfortunately, sometimes those involved with sports are involved with bribery schemes that affect the outcome of the sporting event and compromise the integrity of the sport involved. In New York it is against the law to either offer a bribe or accept a bribe related to influencing the outcome of a sporting event. Under New York Penal Law § 180.45, you could be charged with sports bribe receiving if:

  1. You are a sports participant and you solicit, accept or agree to accept a benefit from another person because you agreed to not give your best effort in a sports contest; or
  2. You are a sports official and you solicit, accept or agree to accept a benefit from another person because you agreed to perform your duties improperly.

It is important to note that under New York Penal Law § 180.35 the definition of "sports participant" is not limited to just the athlete, but also to the coach, manager, trainer, or any other person directly associated with the player, contestant or team.


Leonard Z. King is the star player on his college basketball team. He is approached by Benny J. who offers him $25,000 to cause turnovers and miss shots. King agrees and intentionally plays poorly. King could be prosecuted for sports bribe receiving in violation of New York Penal Law § 180.45.

Related Offenses
  1. Commercial bribe receiving in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 180.05
  2. Bribe receiving by a labor official: New York Penal Law § 180.25

You would not be guilty of sports bribing if you give or offer to give a sports participant a gift to induce that person to win the sporting event. The sports bribing statute only applies to offering something of value to induce the sports participant to fail to give his or her best effort.


Sports bribing is a Class D felony. If you are convicted of this offense you could be sent to prison for up to 7 years. You could also receive a probation sentence of up to 5 years and be required to pay a fine.

New York Penal Law § 180.45: Sports bribe receiving

A person is guilty of sports bribe receiving when:

  1. Being a sports participant, he solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit from another person upon an agreement or understanding that he will thereby be influenced not to give his best efforts in a sports contest; or
  2. Being a sports official, he solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit from another person upon an agreement or understanding that he will perform his duties improperly.
New York Sports Bribe Receiving Lawyer

If you are under investigation for sports bribe receiving, it is important that you have experienced representation. Bribing a labor official is a serious offense. If you are convicted you could end up serving a 7 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 felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of bribery in the following locations:

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