Is it illegal to register bets?

What is registering bets?

To register bets legally means:

  • Keeping a place for registering
  • Keeping a place for buying or selling pools
  • Being present AND involved in registering
  • Being present AND involved in buying or selling pools

What is the law on registering bets?

Commonwealth law states:

“Whoever keeps a building [or] room with apparatus[es], books, [or] any device for registering bets [or] buying or selling pools upon the result of a trial or contest of skill, speed or endurance [or] a game [or] competition…or whoever is present in [any] place…engaged in such business or employment…shall be punished…”

In other words, if a person keeps:

  • A building
  • A room

…with:

  • Apparatuses
  • Books
  • Any device for registering
  • Any device for buying or selling pools

…upon the result of a trial or contest of:

  • Skill
  • Speed
  • Endurance
  • A game
  • Competition

…OR whoever is present in any place engaged in such business or employment, is committing a crime.

What does the government have to show to prove someone is registering bets unlawfully?

In order to convict a defendant of the offense of registering bets, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt EITHER:

  1. That the defendant knowingly kept a:
  • Building
  • Room

…in which there were books or devices for:

  • Registering bets
  • Buying or selling pools upon:
    • A contest of skill
    • Contest of speed
    • A contest of endurance
    • A game
    • A competition
  1. That the defendant was present in a place where he or she was knowingly involved in the business of:
  • Registering
  • Buying or selling pools upon:
    • A contest of skill
    • Contest of speed
    • A contest of endurance
    • A game
    • A competition

Note that in order for a defendant to be convicted of registering bets, he or she must ALWAYS have some connection, beyond an unwitting (i.e. unintentional) presence, with a place of illicit gambling.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A REGISTERING BETS, AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.

CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.

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