New York Gambling charges are prosecuted both by both District Attorney’s Offices and the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Additionally, gambling charges may be prosecuted on the federal level by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

New York’s Gambling Charges can be divided into into:

  • Promotion of Gambling
  • Possession of Gambling Records and Devices
  • Gaming Fraud
  • Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property and Devices
  • Manipulation of Gaming Outcomes

New York Promotion of Gambling Charges

Under New York Penal Law, Promotion of Gambling Charges involve profiting from unlawful gambling activity. New York has two charges relating to promotion of gambling.

Promoting Gambling in the Second Degree (NY Penal Law 225.05)

Under New York Law Section 225.10, a person is guilty of Promoting Gambling in the Second Degree when s/he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity.

Penalties and Sentencing for New York Promoting Gambling in the Second Degree

This New York Gambling charge is a Class A Misdemeanor. As such, it is punishable by up to 1 year in prison. Importantly, as part of the resolution of the criminal case, the District Attorney is able to ask for forfeiture. Forfeiture is the confiscation of assets derived from criminal activity.

Promoting Gambling in the First Degree (NY Penal Law 225.10)

Promoting Gambling in the First Degree is a more serious New York gambling charge than Promoting Gambling in the Second Degree.

Under New York Penal Law 225.10, a person is guilty of Promoting Gambling in the First Degree when he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity by:
1. Engaging in bookmaking to the extent that he receives or accepts in any one day more than 5 bets totaling more than $5,000; OR
2. Receiving, in connection with a lottery or policy scheme or enterprise 
(a) Money or written records from a person other than a player whose chances or plays are represented by such money or records, OR (b) More than $500 dollars in any one day of money played in such scheme or enterprise.

Penalties and Sentencing for Promoting Gambling in the First Degree

New York Promoting Gambling in the First Degree is a Class E non-violent felony. As such, this charge is punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. However, New York Promoting Gambling in the First Degree charge can also be punishable by probation, conditional discharge, or unconditional discharge.

New York Possession of Gambling Records and Devices

New York also has separate charges relating to possession of Gambling Records and Devices. Specifically, these charges are:

  • Possession of Gambling Records in the First Degree,
  • Possession of Gambling Records in the Second Degree, AND
  • Possession of a Gambling Device.

Possession of Gambling Records in the Second Degree (NY Penal Law 225.15)

Under New York Penal Law Section 225.15, a person is guilty of possession of gambling records in the Second Degree, when with knowledge of contents or nature thereof, s/he possesses any writing, paper, instrument or article:

  1. Of a kind commonly used in the operation or promotion of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise; OR
  2. Of a kind commonly used in the operation, promotion or playing of a lottery or policy scheme or enterprise; OR
  3. Of any paper or paper product in sheet form chemically converted to nitrocellulose having explosive characteristics.
  4. Of any water soluble paper or paper derivative in sheet form.

Penalties and Sentencing for Possession of Gambling Records in the Second Degree

This New York Gambling charge is a Class A Misdemeanor. As such, it is punishable by up to 1 year in prison.

Possession of Gambling Records in the First Degree (NY Penal Law 225.20)

New York Possession of Gambling Records in the First Degree is a more serious charge than New York Possession of Gambling Records in the Second Degree.

Under New York Penal Law Section 225.20, a person is guilty of Possession of Gambling Records in the First Degree when, with knowledge of contents thereof, he possesses any writing, paper, instrument or article:
1. Of a kind commonly used in the operation or promotion of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise, and constituting, reflecting or representing more than 5 bets totaling more than $5,000; OR 
2. Of a kind commonly used in the operation, promotion or playing of a lottery or policy scheme or enterprise, and constituting, reflecting or representing more than 500 plays or chances therein.

Penalties and Sentencing for Possession of Gambling Records in the First Degree

Possession of gambling records in the First Degree is Class E non-violent felony. As such, this charge is punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. However, probation, conditional discharge, unconditional discharge or a determinate sentence of less than one year are authorized sentences for this New York gambling charge.

Defenses to Possession of Gambling Records

In New York, there are two statutory defenses the charges Gambling Records in the First Degree and in the Second Degree. Specifically, they are:

  • The writing, paper, instrument or article possessed was neither used nor intended to be used in the operation or promotion of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise, or in the operation, promotion or playing of a lottery or policy scheme or enterprise; AND
  • The writing, paper, instrument or article possessed by the defendant constituted, reflected or represented plays, bets or chances of the defendant himself in a number not exceeding ten.

Possession of a Gambling Device (NY Penal Law 225.30)

Under New York Penal Law Section 225.30, a person is guilty of possession of a Gambling Device when with knowledge of the character thereof, s/he manufactures, sells, transports, places or possesses, or conducts or negotiates any transaction affecting or designed to affect ownership, custody or use of:

  1. A slot machine, unless such possession is permitted pursuant to article nine-A of the general municipal law; OR
  2. Any other gambling device, believing that the same is to be used in the advancement of unlawful gambling activity; OR
  3. A coin operated gambling device with intent to use such device in the advancement of unlawful gambling activity.

Penalties and Sentencing for Possession of a Gambling Device

Possession of a Gambling Device is a class A misdemeanor. As such, this charge is punishable by up to 1 year in prison. Additionally, sentences of probation, conditional discharge, unconditional discharge, and time served are all possible sentences for Possession of Gambling Device.

Possession of a Gambling Device; Defenses (NY Penal Law 225.32)

Possible defenses to Possession of Gambling Devices are:

No Unlawful Intent

It is an affirmative defense that the slot machine possessed was neither used, nor intended to be used in the operation or promotion of unlawful gambling activity and that such slot machine is an antique. Antique is defined as more than 30 years old.

Transportation of Machine to Another Jurisdiction

It is also an affirmative defense that the machine was manufactured or assembled for the for the sole purpose of transporting the machine in a sealed container to another state or jurisdiction for lawful purposes.

Possession Pursuant to a Gaming Compact

Possession of slot machines is lawful, when it takes place pursuant to a gaming compact, which is executed by the governor and an Indian Tribe or Nation Under Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, codified at Title 25 United States Code Sections 2701-2721 and Title 18 United States Code Sections 1166-1168.

Possession for the Purposes of Training

Transportation and possession of a slot machine is lawful, when the transportation and possession is necessary to facilitate the training of persons in repair and reconditioning of the machines as are used or are to be sed in operations in those casinos authorized by tribal-state company.

Possession for the Purpose of Research Development

Possession and transportation of a slot machine is lawful when the slot machine is in a sealed container and possessed for the purpose of transporting them machine to another jurisdiction for a lawful purpose of product development, research, or additional manufacture or assembly.

Previous Transportation Request Filed with State Gaming Commission

Possession and transportation of a gambling device is also lawful when:

  1. The manufacturer or distributor of the gambling device has filed a statement with the state gaming commission as required, AND
  2. Such gambling device was transported into this state in a sealed container and possessed for the purpose of exhibition or marketing in accordance with such statement, AND
  3. Such device is thereafter transported in a sealed container to a jurisdiction outside of this state for purposes that are lawful in such outside jurisdiction.

Gambling offenses; presumptions. (NY Penal Law 225.35)

The following legal presumptions apply to New York Gambling charges:

  1. Possession of gambling devices or gambling records is presumptive evidence of knowledge of the character and contents of these gambling devices or gambling records. This means that the prosecutor does not need to prove the defendant’s knowledge of the contents of the devices or records, as proof of possession alone will satisfy those elements.
  2. For any offense in which it is necessary to prove an occurrence of a sporting event – a published report of its occurrence in any daily newspaper, magazine or other periodically printed publication of general circulation is admissible in evidence and constitutes presumptive proof of the occurrence of such event.
  3. Possession of three or more coin operated gambling devices or possession of a coin operated gambling device in a public place is presumptive evidence of intent to use in the advancement of unlawful gambling activity,

New York Gaming Fraud Charges

New York also has two Gaming Fraud Charges, specifically:

  • Gaming Fraud in the First Degree (NY Penal Law 225.60)
  • Gaming Fraud in the Second Degree (NY Penal Law 225.55)

Gaming Fraud in the Second Degree (NY Penal Law 225.55)

Under New York Penal Law Section 225.55, a person is guilty of Gaming Fraud in the Second Degree when s/he with intent to defraud:

  1. In violation of the rules of the casino gaming, misrepresents, changes the amount bet or wagered on, or the outcome or possible outcome of the contest or event which is the subject of the bet or wager, or the amount or frequency of payment in the casino gaming; OR
  2. Obtains anything of value from casino gaming without having won such amount by a bet or wager contingent thereon.

Penalties and Sentencing for Gaming Fraud in the Second Degree

Gaming Fraud in the Second Degree is a Class A Misdemeanor. As such, this New York Gaming Fraud Charge is punishable by up to one year in prison. However, probation, conditional discharge, unconditional discharge and time served.

Gaming Fraud in the First Degree (NY Penal Law 225.60)

New York Gaming Fraud in the First Degree requires the committing of New York Gaming Fraud in the Second Degree with an additional element

Under New York Penal Law Section 225.60, a person is guilty of Gaming Fraud in the First Degree when s/he commits Gaming Fraud in the Second Degree age:

  1. The value of the benefit obtained exceeds $1,000; OR
  2. S/he has been previously convicted any offense of which an essential element is the commission of a Gaming Fraud within 5 prior years.

Penalties and Sentencing for Gaming Fraud in the First Degree

New York Gaming Fraud in the First Degree is a Class E non-violent felony. As such, this charge is punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. However, probation, conditional discharge or a determinate sentence of a year or less are all permissible sentences for this New York Gambling Charge.

Use of Counterfeit, Unapproved or Unlawful Wagering Instruments

New York Penal Law has a charge for use of Counterfeit, Unapproved or Unlawful Wagering Instruments. This particular charge bans the use of any wagering instruments that are not approved by the appropriate gaming regulating authority.

Elements of Counterfeit, Unapproved or Unlawful Wagering Instruments (NY Penal Law 225.65)

Under New York Penal Law Section 225.65, a person is guilty of Use of Counterfeit, Unapproved or Unlawful Wagering Instruments when:

  1. In playing or using any casino gaming designed to be played with, received or be operated by chips, cheques, tokens, vouchers or other wagering instruments approved by the appropriate gaming regulatory authority,
  2. S/he knowingly uses chips, cheques, tokens, vouchers or other wagering instruments other than those approved by the appropriate gaming regulating authority and the state gaming agency or lawful coin or legal tender of the United States of America.

Penalties and Sentencing for New York Use of Counterfeit, Unapproved or Unlawful Wagering Instruments

Use of Counterfeit, Unapproved or Unlawful Wagering Instruments is a Class A Misdemeanor. As such, this charge is punishable by up to one year in prison. However, instead of jail time, probation, conditional discharge, unconditional discharge and time served are all possible sentences for this New York Gambling Charge.

Presumption of Knowledge of Counterfeit Instruments

Possession of more than one counterfeit, unapproved or unlawful wagering instrument described in this section is presumptive evidence of possession thereof with knowledge of its character or contents. This means that when you have more than one fraudulent wagering instrument, like two casino chips for example, possession alone is enough to prove that you knew that the casino chip was fraudulent.

New York Offenses Relating to Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property

Under New York Law, Unlawful Gaming Property is defined as any device, not prescribed for use in casino gaming by its rules, which is

(1) Capable of assisting a player to:

(i) to calculate any probabilities material to the outcome of a contest of chance; OR

(ii) to receive or transmit information material to the outcome of a contest of chance; OR

(2) Any object or article which, by virtue of its size, shape or any other quality, is capable of being used in casino gaming as an improper substitute for a genuine chip, cheque, token, betting coupon, debit instrument, voucher or other instrument or indicia of value; OR

(3) Any unfair gaming equipment.

New York has three charges relating to Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property, specifically they are:

  • Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the First Degree
  • Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Second Degree
  • Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Third Degree

Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the First Degree is the most serious charge our of these three New York Gambling charges, while Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Third Degree is the least serious. Nonetheless, all of these charges can have a grave impact on your life and can saddle you with a criminal record, probation, jail sentence of forfeiture.

Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Third Degree (NY Penal Law 225.70)

Under New York Penal Law Section 225.70, a person is guilty of possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Third Degree when:

  1. He or she possesses unlawful gaming property at a premises being used for casino gaming,
  2. With intent to use such property to commit gaming fraud.

Penalties and Sentencing for New York Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Third Degree

New York Possession of Unlawful Gaming property in the Third Degree is a Class A misdemeanor. As such, this New York Gambling charge is punishable by up to 1 year in jail. However, probation, time served, conditional discharge, or unconditional discharge are all possible sentences for New York Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Third Degree under New York Penal Law Section 225.70.

Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Second Degree (NY Penal Law 225.75)

Under New York Penal Law 225.75, a person is guilty of Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Second Degree when he or she:

  1. Makes, sells, or possesses with intent to sell, any unlawful gaming property at a casino gaming facility, the value of which exceeds $300, with intent that it will be used for unlawful purpose; OR
  2. Commits possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Third Degree as defined in section 225.70, and the face value of the improper substitute property exceeds $500; OR
  3. Commits the offense of possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Third Degree and has been previously convicted of any offense of which an essential element is possession of unlawful gaming property within the previous 5 years.

Penalties and Sentencing for Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property

Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the Second Degree is a Class E non-violent felony. As such, this New York gambling charge is punishable by 1 1/3 to 4 years incarceration. However, a conditional discharge or a sentence of probation are both permissible sentences for New York Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property charge.

Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the First Degree (NY Penal Law 225.80)

The most serious of New York Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property charges is Unlawful Possession of Gaming Property in the First Degree. Under New York Penal Law Section 225.80, a person is guilty of Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the First Degree when he or she:

  1. Commits the crime of Unlawful Possession of Gaming Property in the Third Degree and the face value of the improper substitute property exceeds $1,000 dollars; OR
  2. He or she commits the offense of Unlawful Possession of Gaming Property in the Second Degree and has been previously convicted of any offense of which an essential element is possession of unlawful gaming property within the past 5 years.

Penalties and Sentencing for Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the First Degree

Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the First Degree is a Class D Non-violent felony. As such, this charge is punishable by up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. However, sentences of conditional discharge, probation or a determinate sentence of a year or less are also possible sentences for New York Possession of Unlawful Gaming Property in the First Degree charges.

Use of Unlawful Gaming Property (NY Penal Law 225.85)

Under New York Penal Law Section 225.85, a person is guilty of Use of Unlawful Gaming Property when he or she:

  1. Knowingly with intent to defraud
  2. Uses unlawful gaming property at a premises being used for casino gaming.

Penalties and Sentencing for Use of Unlawful Gaming Property

Use of Unlawful Gaming Property is a Class E non-violent felony. As such, this charge is punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. However, a conditional discharge, probation or a determinate sentence of 1 year or less are all possible sentences for this charge.

New York Manipulation of Gaming Outcomes & Gambling Equipment Modification Charges

Under New York Penal Law it is a crime to manipulate cards, dice or any other gaming equipment to determine the result or outcome of the game or the frequency of pay out from a game. This charge is called Manipulation of Gaming Outcomes at an Authorized Gaming Establishment and is codified in New York Penal Law Section 225.90.

Additionally, it is a crime to manufacture, alter, sell or mark any equipment used for gaming. This charge is called Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Distribution, Marking, Altering or Modification of Equipment and Devices Associated with Gaming and is codified in NY Penal Law Section 225.95.

Manipulation of Gaming Outcomes at an Authorized Gaming Establishment (NY Penal Law 225.90)

Under New York Penal Law Section 225.90, a person is guilty of manipulation of gaming outcomes at an authorized gaming establishment when he or she: 1. Knowingly conducts, operates, deals or otherwise manipulates, or knowingly allows to be conducted, operated, dealt or otherwise manipulated, cards, dice or gaming equipment or device, for themselves or for another, through any trick or sleight of hand performance, with the intent of deceiving or altering the elements of chance or normal random selection which determines the result or outcome of the game, or the amount or frequency of the payment in a game; OR

2. Knowingly uses, conducts, operates, deals, or exposes for play, or knowingly allows to be used, conducted, operated, dealt or exposed for play any cards, dice or gaming equipment or device, or any combination of gaming equipment or devices, which have in any manner been altered, marked or tampered with, or placed in a condition, or operated in a manner, the result of which tends to deceive or tends to alter the elements of chance or normal random selection which determine the result of the game or outcome, or the amount or frequency of the payment in a game; OR

3. Knowingly uses, or possesses with the intent to use, any cards, dice or other gaming equipment or devices other than that provided by an authorized gaming operator for current use in a permitted gaming activity; OR

4. Alters or misrepresents the outcome of a game or other event on which bets or wagers have been made after the outcome is made sure but before it is revealed to players. Possession of altered, marked or tampered with dice, cards, or gaming equipment or devices at an authorized gambling establishment is presumptive evidence of possession thereof with knowledge of its character or contents and intention to use such altered, marked or tampered with dice, cards, or gaming equipment or devices in violation of this section.

Penalties and Sentencing for Manipulation of Gaming Outcomes at an Authorized Gaming Establishment

Manipulation of Gaming Outcomes at an Authorized Gaming Establishment is a Class A Misdemeanor. This means that this New York Gambling Charge is punishable by up to 1 year in prison. Practically speaking, oftentimes, the sentence on this charge will be non-incarceratory and may involve probation, conditional discharge, unconditional discharge or time served.

However, if an individual has previously been convicted of this crime within the past 5 years this crime is a Class E Non-Violent Felony. That means that if Manipulation of Gaming Outcomes at an Authorized Gambling Establishment is charged as a Class E Non-Violent Felony, then it is punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. However, conditional discharge, probation or a determinate sentence of 1 year or less are all possible sentences for this New York gambling charge.

Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Distribution, Marking, Altering or Modification of Equipment and Devices Associated with Gaming (NY Penal Law 225.95)

Under New York Penal Law Section 225.95, a person is guilty of unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, marking, altering or modification of equipment and devices associated with gaming when he or she:

  1. Manufactures, sells or distributes any cards, chips, cheques, tokens, dice, vouchers, game or device and he or she knew or reasonably should have known it was intended to be used to violate any provision of this article; OR
  2. Marks, alters or otherwise modifies any associated gaming equipment or device in a manner that either affects the result of the wager by determining win or loss or alters the normal criteria of random selection in a manner that affects the operation of a game or determines the outcome of a game, and he or she knew or reasonably should have known that it was intended to be used to violate any provision of this article.

Penalties and Sentencing for Unlawful Manufacture, Sale, Distribution, Marking, Altering or Modification of Equipment and Devices Associated with Gaming

Under New York Law, this New York Gambling Charge is a class A misdemeanor, which means that it is punishable by up to 1 year in prison. However, if the person has previously been convicted of this New York Gambling charge within the past 5 years this crime, this charge is a Class E Non-Violent felony. Class E Non-Violent felonies in New York are punishable by up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. Practically speaking, these charges oftentimes resolve themselves with a non-incarceratory sentence, like probation or a conditional discharge.

Notable New York Gambling Prosecutions

New York’s gambling cases span the gamut from playing a dice game on the corner to participating in the 11 million dollar gambling ring. The charges and the subsequent sentences generally depend on the nature and the extent of the gambling activity. Oftentimes, New York Gambling Charges are coupled with:

  • Money Laundering Charges
  • Enterprise Corruption
  • Tax Fraud

In addition to being prosecuted on a New York State level, Gambling charges in New York can also be prosecuted under federal law by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Contact a Top Rated New York Gambling Charges Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged or suspect that you are under investigation for a New York Gambling charge, it is important that you contact an experienced New York Criminal Defense Attorney. These charges can lead to a permanent criminal record, jail time or forfeiture of your assets. Contact us today to schedule a consultation regarding your case.