GamblingThere are very few people left in the country that firmly believe gambling should still be illegal.  After all, it ‘s legal in certain areas of almost every state.  State and local governments are continuously sending the message that there is nothing wrong with gambling, provided that you do it on their terms.  The government can say where and when you can do it, and they can put you in jail if you disobey.  Gambling regulations come down to money and politics, and any attempt to say otherwise is simply naïve.  The government is not interested in protecting people from wagering their life savings, and they are not overly concerned with protecting the children from betting their allowance.  Money and politics are the reasons that gambling is still illegal, but regardless of the reasons the laws are what they are.  Getting busted ends up being the worst kind of bad beat, so it’s important to understand these laws.

The most general gambling law in Maryland falls under section 12-102 of the criminal code.  This section makes it illegal to place bets and wagers, and also to make or sell a book.  The most common defendants of these cases are bookies, as police tend to focus on those accepting the bets rather than those placing them.   A person who runs a card game or other type of casino game in his or her home may also be charged under this law.  Violations of this statute could result in a punishment of up to one year in jail and a permanent criminal record upon conviction, so it’s something to take seriously.  These cases are usually charged by way of summons but in Baltimore City the police are authorized to write criminal gambling citations.

It is also illegal to keep a gaming device at a home, building or vessel unless it is authorized by a state license.  These devices typically include slot machines and video poker machines.  A violation of this law has the same maximum jail sentence as the general gambling law but a lower maximum fine of $500 compared to $1,000.  There are a few other sections that prohibit certain times of gaming, including a rarely used law that specific prohibits playing dice, craps, thimbles, or little joker.  There is also a provision in the code that allows a person to recover losses that he or she sustained from an illegal gaming operation.  If you or a loved one has been charged or is being investigated for a violation of any of the Maryland gambling laws do not take it lightly.  These are criminal charges that can remain with you for life.  The state’s attorney will prosecute these cases, as they tend to look out for the other politicians that benefit from these laws.  Benjamin Herbst has handled thousands of criminal cases and is prepared to do whatever it takes to offer the best possible representation.  He will not back down from the prosecution, and will fight all the way to jury trial if that’s what it takes.  Contact The Herbst Firm today at 410-207-2598 for a free consultation.
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