Penal Code 337(a) PC
PC 337(a) – Selling Betting Pools, Participation in Bookmaking or Wagering Bets
Selling Betting Pools, Participation in Bookmaking or Wagering Bets – Table of Contents
It is unlawful person construct, facilitate, design, orchestrate any act of participation in any acts of illegal betting or gambling, illegal betting pool programs, illegal bookmaking programs at any time or place.
What acts of participation qualify for violations under Penal Code 337(a) PC?
The acts of participations that qualify for a violation of Penal Code 337(a) PC are:
(1) keeping or occupying a building, a room, a vessel; (2) registering or recording bets, registering, or recording wagers, registering, or recording selling pools that involve people, animals, machines, or a game of chance.
All the above acts are qualified as enumerated acts, meaning that they are independent and unique of each other and require no nexus to qualify as a violation under Penal Code 337(a) PC.
What is defined as bookmaking, or betting under Penal Code 337(a) PC?
Booking making is the taking of a bet, no matter if it is orally or recording the act, there is no need have personal affiliation with the circumstances of the bet. A bet is an agreement or wager between two or more people pertaining to a future event where the person who failed to indicate, guess a perspective of a future event is required to pay a consideration or thing of value, where the conclusion of the event is the subject of the bet.
What is the state of mind required for a violation of Penal Code 337(a) PC?
The state of mind required for a violation of Penal Code 337(a) PC is knowingly. Knowingly is a conscious understanding of the nature of the act desired, which includes an objective understanding of the natural and probable consequences of any resulting events that transpire. As applied to Penal Code 337(a) PC, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused had a conscious desire to complete the act of betting, wagering, bookmaking or selling a betting pool; and utilized any of the enumerated participative acts to assist in the completed objectives; and was reasonably aware of the natural and probable consequences of any act that may result.
Are there any exceptions to a violation of Penal Code 337(a) PC?
Yes. If the participant of any of the enumerating acts does not receive cash, a wage, or thing of material value; but as like other participants receives a novelty or commemorative item that designates their participation that is equally provided to others who participated.
Any violation of Penal Code 337(a) PC is chargeable as a misdemeanor or felony. If charged as misdemeanor penalties include confinement not exceeding 1 year in jail. If charged as felony penalties include confinement terms of 16 months, 2, 3 years in prison. As a first offense, fines will not exceed $5,000 dollars. If, upon a second offense, the State pleads in the complaint or information the prior, to qualify as either a misdemeanor or felony. The chargeable misdemeanor has the penalties of confinement not exceeding 1 year in jail. The chargeable felony has penalties of confinement terms of 16 months, 2, 3 years in prison. But the fines for the second offense will range between $1,000 to $10,000 dollars.
What are examples of a violation of Penal Code 337(a) PC?
- Dustin and his friend Jay, wanted to make things exciting for the upcoming Superbowl. They arranged a betting pool where the payout would be $50,000 dollars’ worth of bitcoin. They sent emails to their colleagues. Invitations were sent via email. The requirement to get in the betting pool was a donation of $5 dollars per person. As a result of their success as sales, both Dustin and Jay acquired over 10,000 people for a total of 20,000. The requirement of the bets was simple- people had to guess the spread or the numerical difference between the two scores shared by the two teams by the end of the 3rd quarter. The person who got the approximate spread would win the payout which is the total donations or $100,000 dollars. If the prediction were made by a group of people, the portion would be shared proportionately. News of the bitcoin prize grew outside of the workplace, and people that Dustin did not know were calling him to place bets; one of them was a police officer. After being told of the intricacies of the game, the officer identified himself over the phone. The next day, police came and placed Dustin and Jay under arrest.
- A betting group existed for 10 years among members of her law school’s law review. She was not a member but was a part of the social circle. The betting program was simple the students bet who would get the top 3 GPAs of their graduating class at the end of the year. The pool of membership fees was the award. Membership fees were $500 dollars each. And 50 people were among the group. The 40% of the payout would be given to the students with the top 3 students grades; 30% going to the students who guessed correctly; and the remaining 30% to the student with the highest grade. The payout would be held at a party at the end of the year. Although Denise did not place a bet, she rented a penthouse at the Ritz to host the party. She did not mind because she had a 4.0 G.P.A. and enjoyed the fun. She sent the lease information to the administrator of the betting group. Before finals, other students wanted their money back because they saw the fund as an easy payout for members of the law review. The administrators of the betting pool did not give the money back. When it was refused it, the students told the law school Dean, who confronted the students. When the students did not respond, the Dean called the police. Denise, the members of the betting group were arrested.
- Unforeseeable circumstances – The betting pool, wager, or booking making was compromised by unforeseeable circumstances that diverted the bet’s purpose from the enumerated acts.
- Reasonable withdrawal – The results of the bets were not consummated, and the all-necessary steps were taken to refund most of the participants any vestments made prior to. As well as, if needed, the police being notified.
- The proceeds of the payout were novelties not of value.
If you are charged with a violation of Penal Code 337(a) PC, call The Esfandi Law Group, APLC. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group, APLC.
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