of America (laws can vary by state)
33, section 13-3301, define "gambling" as risking something
of value in a contest of chance or skill. It is unlawful in Arizona
unless it falls under the category of "social gambling".
gambling" involves any gambling that is not being run as a
business, and which involves players competing on equal terms in
a gamble with each other (ie. a game of home poker). You are involved
in "social gambling" so long as: i) the benefit of gambling
is only the amount of money won and nothing else, ii) all players
are of age of majority, and iii) all players enjoy equal benefit
and risk against each other.
infamous Chapter 5 is the Gambling Control Act. This piece of legislature
opens up with some moral counselling on the wrongs of gambling,
and how it will not be condoned or legitimized by the state. Section
19801 (a) states: "Gambling can become addictive and is not
an activity to be promoted or legitimized as entertainment for children
Act goes on to say that permissible gambling is that gambling deemed
by the state to not be endangering of public health, safety, or
welfare. This introduces the notion that all gambling must be pre-approved
by the state through government licensing, as one might surmise
it pertains to home gambling. The great emphasis of most of this
chapter is in the establishment of the Gambling Board, and how the
only 'rightful' gambling is that gambling as approved by the government's
board and its licensing.
is difficult to isolate home gambling out of this Act, but in terms
of penalties, it would seem to amount to an undisclosed period of
time in a county jail or up to a $5000 fine.
Return to the top.
Canadian Criminal Code
VII of the Canadian Criminal Code outlines the laws where they govern
gaming, betting, and gambling.
197 (sub-sections 1-4)
terminology used by the word of the Law to describe home gambling.
betting house": This is where individuals get together and
play games between each other. There is no 'House' collecting and
paying bets, but rather a group of people playing against each other
in some game of skill and chance (for our interest, Home Poker).
The host does not collect and pay bets, nor does the host collect
a 'rake', as described below.
gaming house": This is where people are enabled to conduct
gaming against a second party. Take Home Craps, for example, where
individual players play against the host, or House. When somebody's
home is used to for somebody to arrange a game where he or she collects
and pays bets, it falls under this definition. Some home gamblers
refer to a 'rake', where the host collects a small percentage of
all pots to help pay for hosting expenses. Use of 'rakes' also falls
under this category.
house": A general term used to describe either a common betting
house, a common gaming house, or completely off the topic, a house
used for prostitution. After all, gambling and prostitution go hand-in-hand.
The game itself, complete with rules and conditions.
The keeper of the house is the person whose name is on the lease,
or is helping the person whose name is on the lease, or is acting
on behalf of the person whose name is on the lease.
If somebody is accused of being the keeper of a disorderly house,
it's their job to convince a court otherwise. Even if the game is
only started at one house and finished at another (ie. long game
of Trips to Win), that first house is still a disorderly house.
198 (only one sub-section)
what presumptions can be made by the Law when police officers show
up at your door under the suspicion that yours is a disorderly house.
They are allowed to assume that yours is such a house if one of
the following things happen:
The police officer was prevented or delayed from entering your house.
The police officer did not find a game-in-progress, but did find
enough gaming equipment (ie. poker chips, Craps tabletop, home roulette
wheel, etc.) to make it clear enough.
The police officer did not find a game-in-progress, but did find
gaming equipment on the persons of people in the house (i.e. poker
chips in everybody's pockets).
The police officer did not charge you while you were found in the
disorderly house, but after the keeper was convicted and it was
proven that you were there, you can be charged.
199 (sub-sections 1-7)
the procedure in dealing with a disorderly house .
Search: The keeper of the disorderly house and anybody in it may
be apprehended with or without a warrant, if the officer can prove
that it is a disorderly house.
The court reserves the right to keep and/or dispose of any evidence
(ie. gaming equipment) that it finds in the disorderly house.
201 (only one sub-section)
what the keeper gets for his troubles. The keeper of the disorderly
house and everybody found in it can be punished with a maximum sentence
of two years. The word of the law does not specify that it would
be any more or less severe, comparative to the stakes of the game
Criminal Law of the State of Florida
849 of Florida's Criminal Law outlines the laws where they govern
Florida law makes it real simple: if you own or operate or manage
a house or room used for the purpose of gaming or gambling, you
are guilty of a charge in the third degree...unless you are involved
in a 'penny-ante game'.
to sub-section 085, a penny-ante game is defined as any game that:
Does not contain a pot of more than $10.
not charge an admission or 'rake' by the host from its players.
conducted in somebody's home.
not advertised in advance.
not contain any player under the age of 18.
incurred in such a penny-ante game are not legally enforceable,
nor can any participant or host of a penny-ante game be charged
Criminal Law of the State of Georgia
16-12-20 states that a person commits the offense of gambling when
they play for money in a game of dice, cards, or balls. That person
is guilty of a misdemeanor.
"gambling place" is any real estate used for the purpose
of gambling. The keeper of a "gambling place" is further
guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature (as an aside,
low stakes home gambling is not mentioned, but it would stand to
reason that the nature would not be as high and aggravated as that
for a misdemeanor for running a private room or home casino).
Criminal Law of the State of Michigan
Michigan Gaming Control and Revenue Act defines "gambling game"
as any dice or card game played for money or some other form of
value, "but does not include games played with cards in private
homes or residences in which no person makes money for operating
the game, except as a player."
laws, crimes, and punishments concerning gambling do not apply to
home gambling, so long as no minors are present and so long as the
House does not collect a rake. This is double-edged as "cheating"
applies only to true "gambling", and could not be punishable
by law in a home game.
Criminal Code of the State of Ohio
Ohio Revised Code 2915 defines a "game of chance" as any
game offers up something of value for anything determine at largely
by chance (cards/dice).
.03 defines a "gambling house" as a place where "games
of chance" are occuring. The owner or lessee of such a house
is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree. No mention of misdemeanor
where it relates to actually playing in the gambling house.
Criminal Code of the State of Oklahoma
941 immediately spells out that the punishment for administering
any game of cards or dice for money or anything of value, is guilty
of a felony worth between $500-$2000, and 1-10 years in a state
caught betting or playing at these prohibited games are guilty of
a misdemeanor and shall pay a fine of $25-$100 and 1-30 days in
a county jail.
Criminal Code of the State of Pennsylvania
5513 makes clear that a person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the
first degree if that person invites or allows other people to gather
in a place of his or her control for the purpose of unlawful gambling.
To "control" a place is to be its owner, lessee, occupant,
mention of those participating in the illegal gambling, only those
Criminal Law of the State of Tennessee
39-17-501 defines "gambling" as the risk of anything of
value for means of profit, based on a degree of chance. Lawful business
transactions, that differentiate game-gambling from business-gambling,
are excluded from this definition.
a person guilty of gambling has committed a Class C misdemeanor.
A person guilty of organizing and/or promoting and/or moderating
any gambling, as is the case with Home Craps or Home Roulette, is
guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
Criminal Law of the State of Texas
47.01 opens up with the laying out of terminology where gambling
is concerned: "Gambling place": any real estate where
gambling is occuring, versus
place": any real estate where gambling is occuring that is
not open to the public
47.02 defines "gambling" in part as any act of playing
and betting for money or any other item of value, a game of cards,
dice, or other.
defense to prosection for an accused to prove that i) everybody
who was participating in the gambling possessed equal odds of win
or loss, ii) no person collected economic benefit aside from personal
winnings, and iii) that the gambling occured in private.
other words, home gambling in the state of Texas is legal, but it
must be conducted in a private place with equal odds between all