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Unlawful gambling practices – California Penal Code PC 337u

Posted by Raoul Severo | Nov 01, 2020 | 0 Comments

Gambling, when done legally, is an excellent hobby for those who can afford it. However, more often than not, people use it maliciously to swindle others. These people aim to misrepresent the outcome of the gambling game so they can win. To discourage anyone from committing these fraudulent acts, or California enacted a series of laws that criminalizes unlawful gambling behaviors. One of these laws is PC 337u or the law against unlawful gambling acts.

PC 337u

California Penal Code PC 337 u is one of the many laws that criminalizes the act of unlawful gambling practices. The statute states that it is unlawful for any person to commit any of the following acts:

  • To alter or misrepresent the outcome of a gambling game or other event on which wagers lawfully have been made after the outcome is determined, but before it is revealed to the players.
  • To place, increase, or decrease a wager or to determine the course of play after acquiring knowledge, not available to all players, of the outcome of the gambling game or any event that affects the outcome of the gambling game or which is the subject of the wager or to aid anyone in acquiring that knowledge for the purpose of placing, increasing, or decreasing a wager or determining the course of play contingent upon that event or outcome.
  • To claim, collect, or take, or attempt to claim, collect, or take, money or anything of value in or from a gambling game, with intent to defraud, without having made a wager contingent on the game, or to claim, collect, or take an amount greater than the amount actually won.
  • To place or increase a wager after acquiring knowledge of the outcome of the gambling game or other event which is the subject of the wager, including past-posting and pressing wagers.
  • To reduce the amount wagered or cancel the wager after acquiring knowledge of the outcome of the gambling game or other event which is the subject of the bet, including pinching wagers.
  • To manipulate, with the intent to cheat, any component of a gambling game device in a manner contrary to the designed and normal operational purpose for the component, including, but not limited to, varying the pull of the handle of a slot machine, with knowledge that the manipulation affects the outcome of the gambling game or with knowledge of any event that affects the outcome of the gambling game

Penalties for unlawful gambling practices

Violating California Penal Code PC 337u is a California wobblers offense. Wobbler offenses can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the crime and the judge's verdict. Another factor that can determine the severity of the offense is the number of times the offender violated the same law. Unlawful gambling practices are punishable by;

For the first violation:

  • imprisonment in a county jail for a term not to exceed one (1) year, or
  • a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or
  • both imprisonment and fine.

For the second violation:

  • imprisonment in a county jail for a term not to exceed one (1) year, or
  • a fine of not more than fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000), or
  • both imprisonment and fine.

Legal defense

If one ever finds himself/herself facing PC 337u charges due to allegations of unlawful gambling practices, the following conditions can be used as a defense to challenge the accusations:

  • The defendant was coerced to admit to the crime, or
  • There is no enough evidence

Coerced to confess – This condition is used when the defendant was forced to confess to a crime, he/she did not commit.

Insufficient evidence – This condition is used when no evidence points to the defendant's involvement in the criminal offense. Without evidence, the defendant is innocent in the eye of the law.

Facing allegations about unlawful gambling practices can greatly hurt a person's civil and social reputation, plus the monetary penalty can significantly dent one's wallet. To avoid facing these hassles, the moment one ever had the misfortune of being accused of such crimes, it would be their best interest to seek our lawyers' assistance. Our team of top-notch California based lawyers can assist them or their parties in lowering, if not totally dismissing, any accusations and charges thrown unto them.

Related offenses

  • PC 337v – Possession of any device used to alter the results of a gambling game
  • PC 337w – Counterfeiting any gambling paraphernalia
  • PC 337x – Cheating at a gambling game
  • PC 337y – Providing altered, manipulated, or modified gambling materials

 

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