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Generally speaking, the law doesn't differentiate between wagering a few dollars in an office pool, spending hundreds of dollars at the casino, and online gambling. In all of these scenarios, an individual may be considered to be gambling. Therefore, people who enjoy betting may benefit from having a thorough understanding of their rights and responsibilities under gaming laws.
Unlike other types of case law, an individual may not be charged specifically with violating gaming law. Instead, a person may be charged with establishing an illegal lottery or crossing state lines for the purposes of establishing an illegal gambling operation.
Typically, casinos are only legal if they have received a license from a state government. Additionally, a lottery is generally only legal if it is sponsored by the state. For instance, California has authorized a state lottery as well as for casinos to operate on Native American lands. Nevada allows casinos and equipment manufacturers to operate on a strictly regulated basis.
Some states or local jurisdictions impose laws on how old a person must be to gamble. In Atlantic City, a person must be at least 21 years old to gamble in a casino. Parents or others who allow a person who is not 21 to gamble in Atlantic City could face charges themselves.
Individuals who are charged with illegal gambling or charges related to the violation of gaming laws may face significant penalties if convicted. Punishment may include fines, payment of restitution, or a jail sentence. An attorney may be able to show that his or her client had no intent to gamble or coerce anyone into participating in an illegal game.
Lawyers may also be able to help individuals and organizations who want to organize a raffle or similar event for charity. Different states, such as New York, may place limits on how much can be raised, who can participate, and what types of games are authorized.
Hiring an attorney is generally a good idea whenever a person may be facing criminal charges. A lawyer may be able to have evidence suppressed, which means that it won't be presented to a jury. This may significantly weaken the case against an individual and result in the charges being dismissed.
Retaining legal counsel may be beneficial for people who are pursuing a case against a person or entity. An attorney may be able to compel the other side to negotiate in good faith toward a favorable outcome. If necessary, a lawyer may represent an individual during informal talks and a formal trial.