Sports Bribing: NY Penal Law § 180.40

by ECL Writer
Tampering With A Sports Contest In The Second Degree

Sports enjoy immense popularity, spanning from the grassroots level to the highest echelons of professional competition. The integrity of these sporting contests hinges upon the ethical conduct of all involved parties, encompassing athletes, coaches, trainers, managers, officials, and any individuals collaborating with the athletes or teams.

There is a fundamental expectation that athletes will exert their utmost efforts to secure victory, while officials administer the contests impartially. Regrettably, instances arise where individuals associated with sports become entangled in illicit schemes involving bribery, which can significantly impact the outcome of sporting events and compromise the sport’s integrity.

In the state of New York, the law unequivocally prohibits both the offering and acceptance of bribes in connection with sporting events. According to New York Penal Law § 180.40, individuals may face charges of sports bribing if they:

  • Deliberately seek to influence a sports participant to withhold their best effort by conferring or agreeing to confer a benefit upon said sports participant.
  • Deliberately seek to influence a sports official to carry out their duties improperly by conferring or agreeing to confer a benefit upon said sports official.

Crucially, it is essential to recognize that the definition of a “sports participant” extends beyond the athlete and encompasses individuals such as coaches, managers, trainers, or any other individuals directly associated with a player, contestant, or team.

Sports Bribing Sentence

Bribery in sports is a Class D felony. If you are found guilty of this crime, you face a maximum sentence of 7 years in jail. A significant fine and a probationary term of up to 5 years could possibly be imposed upon you.

Sports Bribing Defenses

If you give or propose to give a sports participant a gift in order to influence that person to win the sporting event, you are not guilty of sports bribery. The law against bribing athletes in sports only applies when something of value is given in exchange for the athlete not giving it their all. To put it another way, it only applies if you attempt to convince a sportsperson to “throw” a match or competition.

New York Penal Law § 180.40: Sports Bribing

Sports bribery occurs when someone: 1. confers, offers, or agrees to confer, any benefit upon a participant in a sport with the intention of persuading him not to give his best effort in a sporting event; or 2. confers, offers, or agrees to confer, any benefit upon a sports official with the intention of persuading him to perform his duties improperly.

Related Offense

Hiring A New York Lawyer For Sports Bribing Case

Hiring a New York lawyer for a sports bribing case is paramount for a successful legal defense. New York boasts a pool of experienced attorneys well-versed in sports law and criminal defense. These professionals understand the intricacies of the legal system and have a track record of handling complex cases. They can navigate the nuances of sports bribery allegations, offering invaluable counsel and representation. Their local expertise and connections within the legal community can prove instrumental in securing a favorable outcome. In a high-stakes case like this, a seasoned New York lawyer can provide the expertise and dedication needed for a strong defense.

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