What is phone betting?

What is phone betting?

A defendant is charged with the crime of “use of telephone for betting” when he or she unlawfully is (ONE OR MORE):

  • Using a telephone
  • Permitting a telephone

…for betting purposes.

What is the law on phone betting?

Commonwealth law states:

“Whoever uses a telephone or being the occupant in control of premises where a telephone is located or a subscriber for a telephone knowingly permits another to use [that] telephone…for the purpose of accepting wagers or bets, buying or selling of pools, [or] placing…a wager with another upon the result of a trial or contest of skill, speed, or endurance, an athletic game or contest, [or] the lottery called the numbers game, or for the purpose of reporting the results of a trial or contest of skill, speed, or endurance, an athletic game or contest [or] a numbers game to a headquarters or booking office…shall be punished.”

In other words, a person that:

  • Uses a telephone
  • Is the occupant in control of premises where a telephone is located
  • Is the occupant in control of premises where a subscriber for a telephone knowingly permits another to use that telephone

…for the purpose of:

  • Accepting wagers
  • Accepting bets
  • Buying or selling pools
  • Placing a wager with another based on the result of a trial or contest of:
    • Skill
    • Speed
    • Endurance
    • An athletic game or contest
    • The lottery called the “numbers game”
  • Reporting the results of a trial or contest of skill, speed, or endurance, an athletic game or contest, or a numbers game to a headquarters or booking office

…is violating Commonwealth law

How does the government prove someone was betting over a phone?

In order to prove a defendant GUILTY of the offense of use of a telephone for betting, the Commonwealth must prove BOTH of the following elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That the defendant:
    • Used
    • Was the subscriber for
    • Was in control of premises containing

…a telephone

  • That the defendant knowingly:
    • Used the telephone
    • Permitted the telephone to be used

…for:

  • Accepting wagers or bets
  • Buying or selling pools
  • Placing bets upon a contest of skill, speed or endurance, or an athletic game
  • Placing bets in a numbers game
  • Reporting the results of a contest of skill, speed or endurance, or an athletic game to a headquarters or booking office
  • Reporting the results of a numbers game to a headquarters of booking office

Note that in one court case, Commonwealth v. Jensky (1945), the court ruled that police answering the suspect telephone anonymously may testify as to what callers said.

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH USE OF TELEPHONE FOR BETTING, 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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