In Florida, only the Native American ( in Florida, the Seminole) owned casinos are exempt from the state gambling laws. The state allows for social gambling, where a $10.00 limit is imposed. The offenses of Simple Gambling and of Aggravated Gambling often times appear to carry the same penalty; they are both considered a misdemeanor. The difference between simple gambling and aggravated gambling differs from state to state but is usually equivalent to whether or not someone is making money on a game of chance, over and beyond what they might make as a participant in the games themselves. It also deals with what one could call “professional”.
Illegal gambling refers to the playing or engaging in games of chance, to include cards, keno, roulette, faro, wheel of fortune, pool, or billiards, or placing bets or wagers as to the outcome of sports or other events, for money or any other thing of value. Illegal gambling includes both the participants in the illegal gambling activity as well as those persons who open or maintain or allow the use of a house, room, booth, tent, shelter, or place for the purpose of conducting illegal gambling activity.
When the law is clear-cut and obvious, or when case law is right on point, a lawyer’s job is relatively easy; that is, unless the client is clearly guilty but wants to plead not guilty. In cases where the law is somewhat ambiguous, such as interpreting some parts the Florida gambling law, the job becomes much more difficult. Even though “simple gambling” and “aggravated gambling” both are prosecuted as misdemeanors, the judge will doubtless point out the difference to a jury and will also consider it in sentencing. It is still important to retain a lawyer that works on gambling charges in this situation to do a solid job deciphering the laws and making a solid defense for your criminal charge.
Recently, the Division of Alcohol, Beverages and Tobacco (ATB), the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the local police department jointly investigated suspected gambling operations in Port Charlotte, Florida, according to a news release on the DBPR website. Those law enforcement officials seized video gaming machines at local restaurants and bars and made several arrests for the crime of keeping a gambling house, which is a third degree felony.
Any person or business that keeps gambling machines that pay cash or allow the customer to exchange a ticket for cash, alcohol or tobacco may be subject to such an investigation and the corresponding penalties and seizures. These investigations typically begin with undercover law enforcement officers playing the games and receiving the cash, alcohol or tobacco rewards and usually end with a raid, arrests and the seizure of all gaming machines and whatever cash and proceeds law enforcement officials want to say are related to the gambling operations.
Travis P. Grant Illegal Gambling Defense Lawyer
Call us today if you have been convicted of Gambling related offenses.