The boom of the gambling industry gave birth to more stringent statutes in the State of Texas. While Las Vegas and Atlantic City are no longer the sole destinations for legalized gambling, the State of Texas remains stringent in prohibiting such activities outside licensed casinos.
In Texas, gambling is defined in part as 1) making a bet on the final or partial result of a game or contest, 2) making a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment or election, or 3) playing or betting with money or other things of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or other gambling device. Examples of gambling devices include keno, blackjack, 8-liners and roulette machines.
Gambling crimes include participating in gambling, keeping a gambling place, possession of gambling equipment, and gambling promotion. Punishment for these crimes range from a Class C Misdemeanor for participation in gambling to a Class A Misdemeanor for keeping a gambling place. Penalties for these crimes range from a $500 fine to up to a year in the County Jail.
The gambling laws in Texas are quite complex as the legislature has defined terms loosely and the statutes are open to interpretation. Persons charged with gambling crimes need an experienced Houston gambling attorney to assist them in analyzing the facts to ensure that the best possible result is reached.
At Odom, Davis & Hobson, our expert legal team is committed to formulating solid defense strategies to ensure that you are placed in the best position possible at the resolution of the case. Our practice has vast experience in gambling and gaming cases, and our Houston gambling lawyers strive to be constantly updated on federal, state, and local laws.
Money laundering often accompanies charges of maintaining a gambling place. This offense requires the state prove the defendant handled, transacted or otherwise came into possession of money obtained through illegal activity. In addition, the defendant must have knowledge of the source of the cash (though knowledge the activity was illegal is not required). This means every dollar spent in an illegal gaming establishment can lead to a money laundering charge for the business owner and the employees who handle the cash. The state prefers to charge defendants under the money laundering statute as it leads to heightened punishment. If the illegal transactions add up to over $250,000, the defendant can be charged with a first degree felony. This offense has a range of punishment including 5-99 years or life in prison.
Odom, Davis & Hobson
The Criminal Defense Attorneys at Odom, Davis & Hobson have handled many gambling and money laundering cases over the last 40 years. We have represented numerous business establishments charged with keeping a gambling place, possession of gambling devices and money laundering – notably 8-liner game systems and illegal card rooms. We are confident that our attorneys are capable of handling any gambling charge that is presented by the State of Texas.
The Criminal Defense Lawyers at our firm keep up with the always changing gambling laws of Texas. Further, we understand the intricacies of the gambling laws, and where the State is likely to have weaknesses in their case. The Houston Gaming Attorneys at Odom, Davis & Hobson will work tirelessly to ensure that you get the appropriate disposition in your criminal case.
Contact us today for a consultation.