Gambling Crimes: NY PL Article 225

by ECL Writer
New York Gambling Crime Frequently Asked Questions

Gambling has long been a popular pastime in New York, but it’s not without legal consequences. Under New York Penal Law Article 225, gambling crimes are considered serious offenses that can result in severe penalties. Whether it’s a friendly game of poker with friends or a high-stakes sports betting operation, any form of illegal gambling can lead to criminal charges. This article will delve into the intricacies of New York’s gambling laws, including the various types of gambling crimes outlined in Article 225. We will explore the potential consequences of committing these crimes, ranging from fines to imprisonment, and discuss the factors that may influence sentencing. Additionally, we will examine the challenges law enforcement and prosecutors face in investigating and prosecuting gambling crimes, as well as the defense strategies that may be employed to fight such charges. Whether you are a gambler or simply interested in the intricacies of criminal law, this article will provide valuable insight into the world of gambling crimes in New York.

New York Gambling Crimes: NY PL Article 225

While criminal defense attorneys, judges, and prosecutors may all watch poker on ESPN, New York City is not Atlantic City. In Las Vegas, you may wager on anything you want—horses, the NFL, NBA, boxing, or any other sport—but not in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Westchester County, or any other New York town. As things are, charges and arrests for violations like Promoting Gambling and Possession of Gambling Records can easily result in felony convictions, even though New York’s gambling laws may become more lenient in the future.

Assistant District Attorneys frequently accuse persons accused of gambling crimes in New York of even more serious felonies involving enterprise corruption and money laundering, which makes matters worse for the would-be bookie or gambling crew. If prosecutors can link you to an arm’s length or foreign “syndicate,” you could be charged with one of these class B felonies, which carry mandatory sentences of up to 25 years in prison, as if an arrest, indictment, or conviction for a felony were not awful enough.

Is Gambling A Felony In New York?

State law governs gaming in New York, and the severity of punishment for crimes related to gambling varies based on the particulars of the offense. While some forms of gambling, such as social gambling, are permitted under some circumstances, others are forbidden and may result in legal trouble.

Depending on the sum of money involved and the nature of the action, gambling offenses are classified as misdemeanors or felonies under New York Penal Law Article 225. For instance, advertising or owning gambling equipment can be considered a felony, as well as running an unlawful gambling operation. However, until there is a particular amount of money involved, engaging in illicit gambling as a player is typically regarded as a misdemeanor infraction.

It’s important to remember that New York has harsh penalties for crimes involving gaming. Fines of up to $5,000 and up to four years in jail are possible penalties for felonies. Misdemeanor violations are punishable by up to $1,000 in penalties and up to one year in jail.

Overall, even though some types of gambling are permitted in New York, doing so illegally can have substantial legal repercussions. To prevent breaking the law, it’s critical to be aware of the state’s specific gambling laws and regulations.

What Is Considered As New York Gambling Crimes?

You must first comprehend the terminology that forms the basis of New York’s gambling offenses before reading the specific statutes that are relevant to the particular offenses. The following are definitions that you should understand to some extent, but they are not a comprehensive list or a replacement for an in-depth discussion with your New York criminal defense attorney or New York gambling crimes lawyer (or the real laws for that matter).


By illegally accepting wagers on potential future contingent wagers as a company (as opposed to casually or personally), bookmaking refers to the practice of profiting from gambling. You are not both a player and a bookmaker.


You are regarded as a player if you participate in gambling as a competitor or bettor (solely, of course), who does not profit from any gains other than your own profits, and who does not otherwise provide material support to a gambling establishment. The act of performing acts directed toward the arrangement or facilitation of a social game of chance, such as inviting people to play, allowing the use of premises for the game, and providing cards or other equipment used therein, without payment or other consideration, does not in any other way render material assistance to its establishment, conduct, or operation.


When you stake something of worth on the outcome of a game of chance with the understanding that you will gain something of value in the case of a certain outcome, you are gambling.

Contest of Chance

Simply said, any game or gaming equipment where the result significantly depends on a random element (even if skill also plays a role) qualifies.

Advance from Gambling Activity

When you materially support any type of gambling without participating in it as a player, you profit from the activity. Such conduct includes but is not limited to, actions taken with the intention of creating or establishing the specific game, contest, scheme, device, or activity involved, acquiring or maintaining facilities, accessories, equipment, or apparatus for such purposes, inviting or inducing individuals to participate, conducting the game’s actual playing phases, arranging the game’s financial or recording phases, or waging war against another party.

When someone who has considerable proprietary or other authoritative control over property that is being used with his knowledge for gambling activity lets it happen or continue or does nothing to stop it from happening or continuing, they are advancing gambling activity.

Profit from Gambling Activity

You have benefited from gambling activity if you receive cash or other assets as a result of a contract or arrangement with someone who engages in or will participate in the proceeds of gambling.

Gambling Device

Any tool or piece of equipment that is utilized or usable during the gameplay phases of any gambling activity, whether that activity is gambling amongst individuals or gambling by an individual using a machine. The goods utilized in the playing phases of lottery and insurance schemes, such as lottery tickets and policy papers, are not gambling devices.


means an illegal gambling scheme where (a) the players pay or agree to pay something of value for chances that are represented and differentiated by numbers, by combinations of numbers, or by some other media, one or more of which chances are to be designated the winning ones; (b) the winning chances are to be determined by a drawing or by some other method based on the element of chance; and (c) the holders of the winning chances are to receive something of value in exchange for their chances.

Dangerous Presumptions

There are various legal presumptions that a jury or judge can utilize against you, though not in all New York gambling crimes. New York Penal Law 225.35 contains one of those presumptions, which is very important. According to Sections 225.15 and 225.20 of the New York Penal Law, evidence of possession of any gambling instrument or record is presumptive proof that the owner knew the item’s nature or contents.

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