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Alabama Gambling Laws
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Current to Jan. 1, 2012
Section 8-1-150. Contracts founded upon gambling consideration void; recovery of money paid or things of value delivered.
(a) All contracts founded in whole or in part on a gambling consideration are void. Any person who has paid any money or delivered any thing of value lost upon any game or wager may recover such money, thing, or its value by an action commenced within six months from the time of such payment or delivery.
(b) Any other person may also recover the amount of such money, thing, or its value by an action commenced within 12 months after the payment or delivery thereof for the use of the wife or, if no wife, the children or, if no children, the next of kin of the loser.
(c) A judgment under either subsection (a) or (b) for the amount of money paid, thing delivered, or its value is a good defense to any action brought for such money, thing, or its value under the provisions of the other subsection.
(d) A judgment recovered under the provisions of this section is a defense to any proceeding on any garnishment served after the recovery of such judgment, and the court may make any order staying proceedings as may be necessary to protect the rights of the defendant.
Last Visited Mar 9, 2005
Criminal liability based upon behavior of another - Complicity.
A person is legally accountable for the behavior of another constituting a criminal offense if, with the intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense:
Criminal liability based upon behavior of another - Exceptions.
Unless otherwise provided by the statute defining the offense, a person shall not be legally accountable for behavior of another constituting a criminal offense if:
The following definitions apply to this article:
(1) ADVANCE GAMBLING ACTIVITY. A person "advances gambling activity" if he engages in conduct that materially aids any form of gambling activity. Conduct of this nature includes but is not limited to conduct directed toward the creation or establishment of the particular game, contest, scheme, device or activity involved, toward the acquisition or maintenance of premises, paraphernalia, equipment or apparatus therefor, toward the solicitation or inducement of persons to participate therein, toward the actual conduct of the playing phases thereof, toward the arrangement of any of its financial or recording phases or toward any other phase of its operation. A person advances gambling activity if, having substantial proprietary control or other authoritative control over premises being used with his knowledge for purposes of gambling activity, he permits that activity to occur or continue or makes no effort to prevent its occurrence or continuation.
(2) BOOKMAKING . Advancing gambling activity by unlawfully accepting bets from members of the public as a business, rather than in a casual or personal fashion, upon the outcome of future contingent events.
(3) CONTEST OF CHANCE . Any contest, game, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein.
(4) GAMBLING . A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. Gambling does not include bona fide business transactions valid under the law of contracts, including but not limited to contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, and agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance, including but not limited to contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life, health or accident insurance.
(5) GAMBLING DEVICE. Any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment that is normally used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine. However, lottery tickets, policy slips and other items used in the playing phases of lottery and policy schemes are not gambling devices within this definition.
(6) LOTTERY or POLICY . An unlawful gambling scheme in which:
(7) PARI-MUTUEL, MUTUEL or THE NUMBERS GAME . A form of lottery in which the winning chances or plays are not determined upon the basis of a drawing or other act on the part of persons conducting or connected with the scheme, but upon the basis of the outcome of a future contingent event or events otherwise unrelated to the particular scheme.
(8) PLAYER. A person who engages in any form of gambling solely as a contestant or bettor, without receiving or becoming entitled to receive any profit therefrom other than personal gambling winnings, and without otherwise rendering any material assistance to the establishment, conduct or operation of the particular gambling activity.
(9) PROFIT FROM GAMBLING ACTIVITY . A person "profits from gambling activity" if he accepts or receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement or understanding with any person whereby he shares or is to share in the proceeds of gambling activity.
(10) SLOT MACHINE. A gambling device that, as a result of the insertion of a coin or other object, operates, either completely automatically or with the aid of some physical act by the player, in such a manner that, depending upon elements of chance, it may eject something of value. A device so constructed or readily adaptable or convertible to such use is no less a slot machine because it is not in working order or because some mechanical act of manipulation or repair is required to accomplish its adaptation, conversion or workability. Nor is it any less a slot machine because apart from its use or adaptability as such it may also sell or deliver something of value on a basis other than chance.
(11) SOMETHING OF VALUE . Any money or property, any token, object or article exchangeable for money or property or any form of credit or promise directly or indirectly contemplating transfer of money or property or of any interest therein, or involving extension of a service entertainment or a privilege of playing at a game or scheme without charge.
(12) UNLAWFUL . Not specifically authorized by law.
(a) A person commits the crime of simple gambling if he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity as a player.
(b) It is a defense to a prosecution under this section that a person charged with being a player was engaged in a social game in a private place. The burden of injecting the issue is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.
(c) Simple gambling is a Class C misdemeanor.
(a) A person commits the crime of promoting gambling if he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity otherwise than as a player.
(b) Promoting gambling is a Class A misdemeanor.
Conspiracy to promote gambling .
(a) A person commits the crime of conspiracy to promote gambling if he conspires to advance or profit from gambling activity otherwise than as a player.
(b) "Conspire" means to engage in activity constituting a criminal conspiracy as defined in Section 13A-4-3.
(c) Conspiracy to promote gambling is a Class A misdemeanor
Possession of gambling records in the first degree.
(a) A person commits the crime of possession of gambling records in the first degree if with knowledge of the contents thereof, he possesses any writing, paper, instrument or article:
(b) Possession of gambling records in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
Possession of gambling records in the second degree.
(a) A person commits the crime of possession of gambling records in the second degree if with knowledge of the contents thereof, he possesses any writing, paper, instrument or article:
(b) Possession of gambling records in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.
Defense to prosecution for possession of gambling records.
A person does not commit the crime of possession of gambling records in either degree if the writing, paper, instrument or article possessed by the defendant is neither used nor intended to be used in the operation or promotion of a bookmaking scheme or enterprise, or in the operation, promotion or playing of a lottery or mutuel scheme or enterprise. The burden of injecting the issue is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.
Possession of gambling device.
(a) A person commits the crime of possession of a gambling device if with knowledge of the character thereof he manufactures, sells, transports, places or possesses, or conducts or negotiates any transaction affecting or designed to affect ownership, custody or use of:
(b) Possession of a gambling device is a Class A misdemeanor.
Prima facie proof of gambling offenses.
(a) Proof of possession of any gambling device, as defined by subdivision (5) of Section 13A-12-20 or any gambling record specified in Sections 13A-12-24 and 13A-12-25 is prima facie evidence of possession thereof with knowledge of its character or contents.
(b) In any prosecution under this article in which it is necessary to prove the occurrence of a sporting event, (1) a published report of its occurrence in any daily newspaper, magazine or other periodically printed publication of general circulation, or (2) evidence that a description of some aspect of the event was written, printed or otherwise noted at the place in which a violation of this chapter is alleged to have been committed, shall be admissible in evidence and shall constitute prima facie proof of the occurrence of the event.
Lottery occurring outside state no defense to prosecution under Section 13A-12-22.
It is no defense under Section 13A-12-22 relating to a lottery that the lottery itself is drawn or conducted outside Alabama and is not in violation of the laws of the jurisdiction in which it is drawn or conducted.
Forfeiture of gambling devices and gambling proceeds.
(a) Any gambling device or gambling record possessed or used in violation of this article is forfeited to the state, and shall by court order be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the court directs.
(b) Any vehicle possessed or used in violation of this article may be forfeited to the state and disposed of by court order as authorized by law.
(c) Money used as bets or stakes in gambling activity in violation of this article is forfeited to the state and by court order shall be transmitted to the general fund of the state.
Legalized pari-mutuel betting not affected.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to pari- mutuel betting at race meetings authorized by statute. All presently effective state statutes and laws and locally adopted ordinances and laws pursuant thereto legalizing, authorizing or allowing greyhound races and betting or wagering thereon are hereby expressly and specifically preserved, saved and excepted from any repealer provisions contained anywhere in the Criminal Code.
Section 13A -12-50
Unlawful to maintain electric bells, etc.
No person or persons shall maintain or use any electric bells, wires or signals or any elevators or dumbwaiters or other implements or appliances connected with any gaming place or rooms used for gaming, which may be used for the purpose of communicating with the occupants of such gaming house or rooms used for gaming or with those who may be within, and any person who erects, maintains or uses any such bells, wires, signals or elevators or dumbwaiters or other implements or appliances or devices of like kind for said purpose shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years.
District attorney to file complaint on certain information.
When it shall be made known to any district attorney who prosecutes criminal cases in the county by the chief of police, sheriff or other officer or by any reputable citizen that any hotel, tavern, inn or other building has been provided with bells, wires, signals or dumbwaiters or any of them, or other implements or appliances for communicating with the occupants of a gaming place or rooms used for gambling, or that barred or locked doors have been provided which prevent the access of any officer to said rooms where said gaming is carried on, the district attorney shall file a complaint in a court against the owner of such building or room, as well as against the keeper or proprietor of such hotel, tavern, inn or other building to obtain a mandatory injunction to compel the removal of all the things, implements or devices hereinabove mentioned and to perpetually enjoin them from permitting said hotel, tavern, inn or building to be used for the purpose of gaming, and application shall be made upon the filing of such complaint to the judge for a preliminary injunction if the district attorney will make the affidavit to said complaint which he may do on information or belief or if any other officer or citizen offers to make such affidavit so as to obtain an order for a preliminary injunction. Any party or parties operating or conducting said gaming room or place, or found therein, may be joined as parties defendant to the complaint.
Exhibiting gambling devices in barred house or where speaking tubes or electric signals are used.
No person or persons shall exhibit or expose to view in any barred or barricaded house or room, in any place built or constructed in such manner as to make it difficult of access or ingress to police officers or other officers, or protected, furnished or equipped with speaking tubes, dumbwaiters, electric wires or bells, or other apparatus for giving alarm from the outside or from the inside of such house, or room when two or more persons are present, any cards, dice, roulette wheel or any gambling implements whatever. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years; and all persons who visit or resort to any such barred or barricaded house or room or other place that is built or protected or equipped in the manner described in this section and where any cards, dice, roulette wheel or any gaming implements whatever are kept or exhibited or exposed to view when said persons visit or resort to such place for the purpose of gaming, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $50.00 nor more than $300.00 and may also be imprisoned in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than six months.
Owner permitting any person to equip any room, etc.
Any person who, being the owner, proprietor, or keeper, or superintendent of any tavern, inn, restaurant, billiard room, poolroom or other public house, permits or suffers any person or persons on or about the premises to provide a barred or barricaded room or rooms to which persons resort for gaming or who knowingly or wilfully permits or knowingly or wilfully suffers any person or persons to equip any room or rooms on or about the premises with electric bells, wires or signals, or elevators, dumbwaiters or other implements or appliances connected with such rooms used or to be used for the purpose of communicating with an occupant or occupants of such gambling room or rooms, shall likewise be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years.
When affidavit made, court to examine affiant under oath.
When an affidavit is made before a court of competent jurisdiction that the complainant has probable cause to believe and does believe that any house or any part of a house, particularly designating the same, is being kept or maintained contrary to the provisions of this division, or that a gaming table is being exhibited or kept at said place, or that said house or part of a house or any room therein is provided with electric bells or other instruments or appliances hereinabove set forth for communicating with the occupants of such place or room, or that some other offense under this division is being committed at said house or room, then the court to whom the application is made shall examine the complainant or affiant under oath and other witnesses, if he so desires, touching the matter charged in the affidavit, and, if the said court has probable cause for believing that the act or offense alleged in the affidavit is being committed, he shall issue his warrant directed to any lawful officer of the State of Alabama commanding him to enter the house or room and to arrest all parties found therein and to bring them before such court to be dealt with according to law.
Duty of officer to break into and enter house.
The officer, in executing said warrant, shall break into and enter such house, room or part of a house, upon the refusal of the proprietor or any occupant thereof to open the same, and seize all gambling instruments and bring such instruments, together with all gambling devices and the parties that are found there, before the court which issued the warrant.
Arrest of occupants of house.
If it appears from the affidavit of the complainant or of any other witness that he produces what persons are the proprietors of or the occupants of the house, part of a house or room hereinabove described, the warrant shall order the arrest of such persons by name, but if such proprietors or occupants are unknown, it may be so stated in the affidavits and warrants, and, upon bringing the said persons who are arrested under said warrant before the court, a supplemental affidavit may be made against them by the complainant or any officer executing the warrant charging them with the offense or felony of which they appear to be guilty under the provisions of this division.
Trial; defendant bound over.
The court shall thereupon proceed to hear the evidence in the case, and, if probable cause is shown for believing said parties or any of them to be guilty, he shall bind them over under proper bond to await the action of the grand jury in accordance with the laws of the state as prescribed in preliminary examinations before courts authorized by law to conduct preliminary examinations, and all rules of procedure applicable to such preliminary examinations shall be likewise applicable to proceedings under this division.
Presence of bells, etc., prima facie evidence.
The presence of electric bells, wires or signals or dumbwaiters or of other implements or appliances that may be used for the purpose of communicating with persons who are occupying a barred or barricaded room on or about the premises of a hotel, restaurant, billiard room, poolroom or any room above the grade floor in the business district of any town or city is prima facie evidence that gaming was being there carried on by such parties in any prosecution against them, if they have the general reputation of being gamblers, and in all such cases, proof of such general reputation is admissible in evidence.
Transportation by certain persons; seizure of vehicles used.
Any transportation or conveyance within this state of any slip, ticket, card, paper, writing, article, thing or other device or paraphernalia which is customarily or usually used in the operation of a form or type of lottery commonly known as a numbers (or number) game or policy game (herein called "lottery paraphernalia") or any possession thereof in any vehicle of transportation by any person who is or has been within three years next preceding actually engaged in or connected with the setting up, conducting or operation of any such game, or who is or has been within three years next preceding an employee of a person or persons who are or have been engaged in setting up, conducting or operating of any such game is hereby declared to be a misdemeanor; and all conveyances or vehicles of transportation which have been within three years next preceding or are used by such persons for the conveying or transporting of such prohibited lottery paraphernalia into this state or from one point in the state to another point within the state, or in which conveyance any such lottery paraphernalia may be contained or found while such conveyance is in the custody or control of such person shall be contraband and shall be forfeited to the State of Alabama and shall be seized by any sheriff or other person acting under authority of the law in the enforcement of the laws of this state who become cognizant of the facts or who finds such prohibited lottery paraphernalia being transported, stored or contained as aforesaid in such conveyance or vehicle. And such officer or person shall report the seizure and the facts connected therewith to a district attorney in the county where seizure is made, or, in default thereof, to the attorney general of the state, giving full description of the vehicle or conveyance seized and detained, the person in whose possession it was found, the person making a claim to the same, or any interest therein, if the name can be ascertained or is known, and the date of seizure.
Movement of vehicle need not be shown.
In order to condemn and confiscate any of the above mentioned conveyances or vehicles, it shall not be necessary for the state or prosecuting authority to show any actual movement of said conveyance or vehicles while loaded with, or in which there is contained or stored, any of said prohibited lottery paraphernalia, but the presence thereof in any conveyance or vehicle which is in the use of, control or custody of any such person as described in Section 13A-12-70 shall be sufficient cause of forfeiture of such conveyance or vehicle.
Procedure for condemnation and forfeiture of vehicle.
Except as otherwise herein provided, the manner, method and procedure for the forfeiture and condemnation of any such vehicle shall be the same as that provided by law for the confiscation or condemnation or forfeiture of automobiles, conveyances or vehicles in which alcoholic beverages are illegally transported. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing sentence, Sections 28-4-286 and 28-4-287 shall apply.
Sale of forfeited vehicle; rights of bailor, conditional vendor or mortgagee.
The court in condemnation proceedings shall sell the right of all interested persons in and to said conveyance or vehicle who aided or assisted any such person as described in Section 13A-12-70 in the illegal transportation or who had knowledge or notice thereof, or who had knowledge of the presence thereof in said vehicle or conveyance, or who could by reasonable diligence have obtained knowledge or notice thereof. Any bona fide bailor or conditional vendor or chattel mortgagee who shall, prior to bailing, selling or accepting a mortgage upon such conveyance or vehicle, make inquiry of the sheriff and chief of police of the county and city of the residence of such bailee, vendee or mortgagor and of the sheriff and chief of police of the county and city of the place of business of the bailor, vendor or mortgagee, or of any recognized or licensed agency which makes a systematic check of court records of convictions for violations of the law and furnishes credit reports, and in answer to such inquiry shall be informed in writing that the prospective bailee, conditional vendee or mortgagor has no reputation as a person who has been engaged in operating or connected with lotteries, gambling or gaming and that such person has not according to their records been convicted of a violation of any of the laws of this state, any other state or of any municipal ordinance relating to gaming, gambling or lotteries, shall be presumed to be entitled to such conveyance or vehicle or to be protected to the extent of his interest therein.
Section 13A- 12-74
Disposition of proceeds of sale of forfeited vehicle.
The proceeds of the sale of any such vehicle or conveyance forfeited to the state shall, after paying all expenses in the cause, including the costs of seizure and of keeping a property pending the proceedings, be applied as follows: One half shall be paid into the general fund of the county in which the property is seized, and the other one half shall be paid into the Law Enforcement Fund to be used and applied on the enforcement of state laws under the supervision and control of the Governor; but provided, that when such property shall be seized by an officer of a municipality, one half thereof shall be paid into the general fund of the municipality, one quarter thereof shall be paid into the general fund of the county and the other one quarter shall be paid into the law enforcement fund to be used and applied on the enforcement of state laws under the supervision and control of the Governor.
Transportation of articles not commonly used in numbers or policy game not unlawful.
The provisions of this division shall not be construed to make unlawful the transportation of articles or paraphernalia not commonly used in the conduct of any form or type of lottery commonly known as a numbers (or number) game or policy game, and no vehicle used in transporting such articles or paraphernalia not commonly used in the conduct of such game shall be subject to condemnation or forfeiture by reason of such use or transportation.
Bona fide coin-operated amusement machines.
(a) Sections 13A-12-70 to 13A-12-75, inclusive, shall not apply to a coin-operated game or device designed and manufactured for bona fide amusement purposes which, by application of some skill, only entitles the player to replay the game or device at no additional cost if a single play of the bona fide coin-operated amusement machine or device can reach no more than 25 free replays or can be discharged of accumulated free replay, or rewards the player exclusively with merchandise limited to noncash merchandise, prizes, toys, gift certificates, or novelties, each of which has a wholesale value of not more than five dollars ($5). This subsection shall not apply to any game or device classified by the United States government as requiring a federal gaming tax stamp under applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.
(b) Any person who gives to any other person money or anything of value for free replays on coin-operated devices described in subsection (a) shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
(c) Sections 13A-12-70 to 13A-12-75, inclusive, shall not apply to a crane game machine or device which meets the following requirements:
(d) A player of a bona fide coin-operated amusement machine may accumulate winnings for the successful play of a bona fide coin-operated amusement machine through either tokens or tickets, and may redeem these tokens or tickets for merchandise so long as the amount of tokens or tickets earned on a single play does not exceed five dollars ($5) per unit.
(e)(1) For purposes of this section, "bona fide coin-operated amusement machine " means every machine of any kind or character used by the public to provide amusement or entertainment whose operation requires the payment of or the insertion of a coin, bill, other money, token, ticket, or similar object, and the result of whose operation depends in whole or in part upon the skill of the player, whether or not it affords an award to a successful player, and which can be legally shipped interstate according to federal law. Examples of bona fide coin-operated amusement machines include, but are not limited to, the following:
t. Every machine of any kind or character used by the public to provide music whose operation requires the payment of or the insertion of a coin, bill, other money, token, ticket, or similar object, such as jukeboxes or other similar types of music machines.
(2) The term "bona fide coin-operated amusement machine" does not include the following:
(f) Any person owning or possessing an amusement game or device described in subdivision (1) of subsection (e) or any person employed by or acting on behalf of another person who gives to another person money for noncash merchandise, prizes, toys, gift certificates, or novelties received as a reward in playing an amusement game or device shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Possession, etc., of stamp prima facie evidence of violation of gambling laws.
The holding, owning, having in possession of, or paying the tax of a wagering occupational tax stamp issued by the internal revenue authorities of the United States shall be held in all the courts of this state as prima facie evidence against the person holding such stamp in any prosecution of such person for violation of the gambling laws of this state.
Production of stamp warrants indictment or information.
In cases where the proper prosecuting officers shall produce said stamp or certified copy, the grand jury may indict the holder of such stamp or the proper prosecuting officer may file information against the holder of such stamp without further proof, charging such holder with the violation of the Alabama gambling laws.
Proof of ownership, etc.
Upon the trial of such person, proof of the owning, holding or possession of such stamp may be made by two witnesses who have seen such stamp in the place of business of the holder or on his person, or by the production of the original stamp with proof by one or more witnesses that it is the property of the defendant, or by production by the state of a copy of such stamp certified by the director of the issuing federal internal revenue district as being a copy of the stamp originally issued to the defendant. Proof made as herein provided shall be sufficient evidence, without explanation, to convict of violation of the gambling laws.
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