USE OF TELEPHONE FOR BETTING

USE OF TELEPHONE FOR BETTING 

This post will answer the following legal questions on the crime of use of telephone for betting:

  • What does it mean to be charged with use of a telephone for betting?
  • What does Commonwealth law have to say on use of a telephone for betting?
  • How does the Commonwealth prove a defendant guilty of the offense of use of telephone for betting?

What does it mean to be charged with use of a telephone for 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 does Commonwealth law have to say on use of a telephone for 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 (ONE OR MORE):

  • 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 (ONE OR MORE):

  • Accepting wagers
  • Accepting bets
  • Buying or selling pools
  • Placing a wager with another based on the result of a trial or contest of (ONE OR MORE):
    • 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 Commonwealth prove a defendant guilty of the offense of use of telephone for betting?

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 (ONE OR MORE):
    • 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 (ONE OR MORE):

  • 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.

 

Source: Instruction 7.520

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