Have You Been Charged with Commercial Gambling in Georgia?
Gambling related crimes are serious offenses in Georgia. No matter if you have been charged with keeping a gambling place, advertising commercial gambling, or engaging in commercial gambling, you could face serious consequences. You need a Georgia Commercial Gambling Attorney who has an in-depth knowledge of criminal law and can thoroughly explain your options. Our attorneys at Lawson and Berry have over 50 combined years of experience and are ready to speak with you. Call now for a free case evaluation and find out why we are Georgia's top-rated criminal defense firm.
Georgia Law on Commercial Gambling
O.C.G.A. § 16-12-22 reads as follows:
(a) A person commits the offense of commercial gambling when he intentionally does any of the following acts:
(1) Operates or participates in the earnings of a gambling place;
(2) Receives, records, or forwards a bet or offer to bet;
(3) For gain, becomes a custodian of anything of value bet or offered to be bet;
(4) Contracts to have or give himself or another the option to buy or sell or contracts to buy or sell at a future time any gain or other commodity whatsoever or any stock or security of any company, when it is at the time of making such contract intended by both parties thereto that the contract to buy or sell, the option whenever exercised or the contract resulting therefrom, shall be settled not by the receipt or delivery of such property but by the payment only of differences in prices thereof;
(5) Sells chances upon the partial or final result of or upon the margin of victory in any game or contest or upon the performance of any participant in any game or contest or upon the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or upon the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate;
(6) Sets up or promotes any lottery, sells or offers to sell, or knowingly possesses for transfer or transfers any card, stub, ticket, check, or other device designed to serve as evidence of participation in any lottery; or
(7) Conducts, advertises, operates, sets up, or promotes a bingo game without having a valid license to operate a bingo game as provided by law.
This law is comprehensive, and there are numerous ways you could have committed commercial gambling. You can be charged whether you committed just one of these acts or all of these acts. No matter your situation, we can help! Call now and speak to one of our knowledgeable commercial gambling lawyers in Georgia.
Types of Prohibited Commercial Gambling in Georgia
Georgia has very strict gambling. There are a number of activities that are considered to be commercial gambling. A person charged with commercial gambling in Georgia could have been participating in:
- Casino games
- Sports betting
- Horse racing
- Dog racing
The Penalty for a Commercial Gambling Conviction in Georgia
A person convicted of commercial gambling in Georgia will be charged with a felony punishable by a prison term between one and five years, a fine up to $20,000.00, or both.
Georgia Defenses to a Charge of Commercial Gambling
Lack of Intent: Intent is a required element for commercial gambling. As seen in the case of Bing v. State, mere observation of cash and parlay cards in the defendant's bedroom were not enough to sustain a conviction for commercial gambling. 178 Ga. App. 288, (1986).
Lack of Evidence: There has to be enough evidence to warrant a conviction. Without evidence, your commercial gambling attorney in Georgia will move for a dismissal of your case.
Lack of Betting: Betting is the backbone of a commercial gambling charge. Without evidence of betting, you cannot be charged with commercial gambling.
Innocence: An alibi or other proof demonstrating that you could not have committed the crime as charged would be greatly beneficial in your case. If this defense applies to you, contact one of our commercial gambling attorneys in Georgia today.
These are just some of the numerous defenses that could be applied to your case. Every case is different, and there are plenty more arguments we can make on your behalf. Call now, and we will start preparing your best defense!
If you or a loved one has been charged with commercial gambling in Georgia, contact us now. We will immediately start preparing your defense. We promise to walk you through every step of the criminal process and update you of your options as we go. We care about your future and ensure your rights will be protected. Remember, a charge is not the same as a conviction. Call now for a free case evaluation.