Throughout your lifetime, you will probably have engaged in or made bets with your friends over ordinary or minor things. Let’s see what are betting law in California. While betting whether your friend will show up to the dinner on time is not illegal, bookmaking and recording bets in order to make money is illegal in California. According to California Penal Code 337a PC, it is against the law to engage in bookmaking or pool selling.
Those who are charged with this crime do not have to be bookmakers for a living – engaging in betting just even once can land you in trouble. The law defines bookmaking as the oral or written act of engaging in an agreement over a future event, with the goal of making money by betting correctly. Similarly, pool-selling deals with selling chances in a betting pool (betting among many people). The prosecutor needs to prove that the defendant accused of bookmaking knew that they were making a bet. Moreover, the law can also punish those who assist the bookmakers, like recording or registering a bet on a device is illegal as well.
What happens if someone is found guilty of bookmaking or pool-selling?
They face a wobbler offense, which means they face a misdemeanor or felony conviction based on a variety of factors. For those with a misdemeanor charge, the penalties include up to a year in county jail as well as paying a fine. However, felony sentencing can increase to three years in state prison. This crime can become even more severe with repeat offenses. A repeat bookmaker can be made to pay higher fines and spend another year in jail. Given the severity of the punishment, it is crucial that someone accused of the crime receives immediate legal counsel.