Gambling Offences (Offence)

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Gambling Offences
s. 201 of the Crim. Code
Election / Plea
Crown Election Indictment Summary
summary proceedings must initiate within 6 months of the offence (786(2))
Jurisdiction Prov. Court only (201(1), 202 and 203)
Prov. Court only (201(2))
Types of Release Release by Officer, Officer-in-Charge, or Judge (varies on charge)
Summary Dispositions
Avail. Disp. Discharge (730)

Suspended Sentence (731(1)(a))
Fine (734)
Fine + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail (718.3, 787)
Jail + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail + Fine (734)

Conditional Sentence (742.1)
Minimum None
Maximum six months jail and/or a $5,000 fine
Indictable Dispositions
Avail. Disp. Discharge (730)*

Suspended Sentence (731(1)(a))*
Fine (734)*
Fine + Probation (731(1)(b))*
Jail (718.3, 787)
Jail + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail + Fine (734)
Conditional Sentence (742.1)*

(* varies)
Minimum 14 days incarceration (second) (202 and 203)
30 days incarceration (third or more) (202 and 203)
Maximum 2 years incarceration
Reference
Offence Elements
Sentence Digests

Overview

Offences relating to gambling are found in Part VII of the Criminal Code relating to "Disorderly Houses, Gaming and Betting".

There are three classes of offences in relation to Gambling under the Criminal Code. Those offences relate Keeping a Gaming/Betting House (201), Betting and Book-Making (202), and Placing bets on behalf of others (203).

Pleadings
Offences under s. 201(1), 202 and 203 are absolute jurisdiction offences under s. 553(a) and so does not have a defence election of court. It must be tried by a provincial court judge.

Offences under s. 201(2) are straight summary conviction offence. The trial must be held in provincial court.

Release

Offence(s) Attendance Notice
Without Arrest

s. 496
Summons
Without Arrest
s. 497
Release By
Arresting Officer
On Attendance Notice
s. 497
Release By
Officer-in-Charge
On a Promise to Appear
Undertaking or Recognizance
s. 498
Release By
a Judge or Justice
on a PTA, Undertaking or Recog.

s. 515
Direct to Attend
for Fingerprints, etc.
Identification of Criminals Act

s. 2 ID Crim. Act
s. 201(1), 202 or 203 X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png
s. 201(2)) OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png


When charged under s. 201(1), 202 or 203, the accused cannot be given an attendance notice or a summons without arrest, nor can he be released by an arresting officer. He can be released by an officer-in-charge under s. 498 on a promise to appear or recognizance. He can also be released by a justice under s. 515. A youth will be subject to a maximum penalty of 3 years under s. 42(15) of the YCJA and can be given an attendance notice without arrest under s. 496 or a summons and if arrested, can be released by the arresting officer under s. 497 on a attendance notice or by an officer-in-charge under s. 498 on a promise to appear or recognizance. The youth can also be released by a justice under s. 515.

When charged under s. 201(2), the accused can be given an attendance notice without arrest under s. 496 or a summons. If arrested, he can be released by the arresting officer under s. 497 on a attendance notice or by an officer-in-charge under s. 498 on a promise to appear or recognizance. He can also be released by a justice under s. 515.

A peace officer who charges a person under s. 202 or 203 of the Code can require that person to attend for the taking of fingerprints, photographs or other similar recordings that are used to identify them under the Identification of Criminals Act.

Publication Bans
For all offences there is a discretionary general publication ban available on application of the Crown, victim or witness to prohibit the publishing of "any information that could identify the victim or witness" under s. 486.5(1) where it is "necessary" for the "proper administration of justice". Other available publication bans include prohibitions for publishing evidence or other information arising from a bail hearing (s. 517), preliminary inquiry (s. 539) or jury trial (s. 648). There is a mandatory publication ban in all youth prosecutions on information tending to identify young accused under s. 110 of the YCJA or young victims under s. 111 of the YCJA.

Offence Designations
See below in Ancillary Sentencing Orders for details on designations relating to sentencing orders.

Offence Wording

Keeping gaming or betting house
201. (1) Every one who keeps a common gaming house or common betting house is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Person found in or owner permitting use
(2) Every one who

(a) is found, without lawful excuse, in a common gaming house or common betting house, or
(b) as owner, landlord, lessor, tenant, occupier or agent, knowingly permits a place to be let or used for the purposes of a common gaming house or common betting house,


is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 185.


CCC

Betting, pool-selling, book-making, etc.
202. (1) Every one commits an offence who

(a) uses or knowingly allows a place under his control to be used for the purpose of recording or registering bets or selling a pool;
(b) imports, makes, buys, sells, rents, leases, hires or keeps, exhibits, employs or knowingly allows to be kept, exhibited or employed in any place under his control any device or apparatus for the purpose of recording or registering bets or selling a pool, or any machine or device for gambling or betting;
(c) has under his control any money or other property relating to a transaction that is an offence under this section;
(d) records or registers bets or sells a pool;
(e) engages in book-making or pool-selling, or in the business or occupation of betting, or makes any agreement for the purchase or sale of betting or gaming privileges, or for the purchase or sale of information that is intended to assist in book-making, pool-selling or betting;
(f) prints, provides or offers to print or provide information intended for use in connection with book-making, pool-selling or betting on any horse-race, fight, game or sport, whether or not it takes place in or outside Canada or has or has not taken place;
(g) imports or brings into Canada any information or writing that is intended or is likely to promote or be of use in gambling, book-making, pool-selling or betting on a horse-race, fight, game or sport, and where this paragraph applies it is immaterial
(i) whether the information is published before, during or after the race, fight game or sport, or
(ii) whether the race, fight, game or sport takes place in Canada or elsewhere,

but this paragraph does not apply to a newspaper, magazine or other periodical published in good faith primarily for a purpose other than the publication of such information;

(h) advertises, prints, publishes, exhibits, posts up, or otherwise gives notice of any offer, invitation or inducement to bet on, to guess or to foretell the result of a contest, or a result of or contingency relating to any contest;
(i) wilfully and knowingly sends, transmits, delivers or receives any message that conveys any information relating to book-making, pool-selling, betting or wagering, or that is intended to assist in book-making, pool-selling, betting or wagering; or
(j) aids or assists in any manner in anything that is an offence under this section.


Punishment
(2) Every one who commits an offence under this section is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) for a first offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years;
(b) for a second offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years and not less than fourteen days; and
(c) for each subsequent offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years and not less than three months.


R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 202; 2008, c. 18, s. 5.


CCC

Placing bets on behalf of others
203. Every one who

(a) places or offers or agrees to place a bet on behalf of another person for a consideration paid or to be paid by or on behalf of that other person,
(b) engages in the business or practice of placing or agreeing to place bets on behalf of other persons, whether for a consideration or otherwise, or
(c) holds himself out or allows himself to be held out as engaging in the business or practice of placing or agreeing to place bets on behalf of other persons, whether for a consideration or otherwise,


is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(d) for a first offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years,
(e) for a second offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years and not less than fourteen days, and
(f) for each subsequent offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years and not less than three months.


R.S., c. C-34, s. 187; 1974-75-76, c. 93, s. 11.


CCC

Proof of the Offences

Proving Keeping gaming or betting house under s. 201(1) should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit "keeps a common gaming house or common betting house".

Proving Person found in or owner permitting use under s. 201(2) should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit is either:
    1. found "in a common gaming house or common betting house and does not have a "lawful excuse" or
    2. the "owner, landlord, lessor, tenant occupier or agent" of a place and "permits a place to be let or used for the purposes of a common gaming house or common betting house"

Proving Betting, pool-selling, book-making, etc under s. 202(1) should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit either:
    1. uses or knowingly allows a place under his control to be used for the purpose of recording or registering bets or selling a pool;
    2. imports, makes, buys, sells, rents, leases, hires or keeps, exhibits, employs or knowingly allows to be kept, exhibited or employed in any place under his control any device or apparatus for the purpose of recording or registering bets or selling a pool, or any machine or device for gambling or betting;
    3. has under his control any money or other property relating to a transaction that is an offence under this section;
    4. records or registers bets or sells a pool;
    5. engages in book-making or pool-selling, or in the business or occupation of betting, or makes any agreement for the purchase or sale of betting or gaming privileges, or for the purchase or sale of information that is intended to assist in book-making, pool-selling or betting;
    6. prints, provides or offers to print or provide information intended for use in connection with book-making, pool-selling or betting on any horse-race, fight, game or sport, whether or not it takes place in or outside Canada or has or has not taken place;
    7. imports or brings into Canada any information or writing that is intended or is likely to promote or be of use in gambling, book-making, pool-selling or betting on a horse-race, fight, game or sport, and where this paragraph applies it is immaterial ... whether the information is published before, during or after the race, fight game or sport, or ... whether the race, fight, game or sport takes place in Canada or elsewhere and the publication is not "a newspaper, magazine or other periodical published in good faith primarily for a purpose other than the publication of such information";
    8. advertises, prints, publishes, exhibits, posts up, or otherwise gives notice of any offer, invitation or inducement to bet on, to guess or to foretell the result of a contest, or a result of or contingency relating to any contest;
    9. wilfully and knowingly sends, transmits, delivers or receives any message that conveys any information relating to book-making, pool-selling, betting or wagering, or that is intended to assist in book-making, pool-selling, betting or wagering; or
    10. aids or assists in any manner in anything that is an offence under this section.

Proving Placing bets on behalf of others under s. 203 should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit either:
      1. places or offers or agrees to place a bet on behalf of another person for a consideration paid or to be paid by or on behalf of that other person,
      2. engages in the business or practice of placing or agreeing to place bets on behalf of other persons, whether for a consideration or otherwise, or
      3. holds himself out or allows himself to be held out as engaging in the business or practice of placing or agreeing to place bets on behalf of other persons, whether for a consideration or otherwise,

Interpretation of the Offence

Constitutional
Section 199 is constitutional.[1]

  1. R v Huynh, 2009 ABQB 637 (CanLII)

Presumptions

Presumptions
198 (1) In proceedings under this Part,

(a) evidence that a peace officer who was authorized to enter a place was wilfully prevented from entering or was wilfully obstructed or delayed in entering is, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, proof that the place is a disorderly house;
(b) evidence that a place was found to be equipped with gaming equipment or any device for concealing, removing or destroying gaming equipment is, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, proof that the place is a common gaming house or a common betting house, as the case may be;
(c) evidence that gaming equipment was found in a place entered under a warrant issued pursuant to this Part, or on or about the person of anyone found therein, is, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, proof that the place is a common gaming house and that the persons found therein were playing games, whether or not any person acting under the warrant observed any persons playing games therein; and
(d) evidence that a person was convicted of keeping a disorderly house is, for the purpose of proceedings against any one who is alleged to have been an inmate or to have been found in that house at the time the person committed the offence of which he was convicted, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, proof that the house was, at that time, a disorderly house.

Conclusive presumption from slot machine
(2) For the purpose of proceedings under this Part, a place that is found to be equipped with a slot machine shall be conclusively presumed to be a common gaming house.
Definition of slot machine
(3) In subsection (2), slot machine means any automatic machine or slot machine

(a) that is used or intended to be used for any purpose other than vending merchandise or services, or
(b) that is used or intended to be used for the purpose of vending merchandise or services if
(i) the result of one of any number of operations of the machine is a matter of chance or uncertainty to the operator,
(ii) as a result of a given number of successive operations by the operator the machine produces different results, or
(iii) on any operation of the machine it discharges or emits a slug or token,

but does not include an automatic machine or slot machine that dispenses as prizes only one or more free games on that machine.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 180; 1974-75-76, c. 93, s. 10.


Misc Definitions

Definitions
197 (1) In this Part,
bet means a bet that is placed on any contingency or event that is to take place in or out of Canada, and without restricting the generality of the foregoing, includes a bet that is placed on any contingency relating to a horse-race, fight, match or sporting event that is to take place in or out of Canada; (pari)
...
common betting house means a place that is opened, kept or used for the purpose of

(a) enabling, encouraging or assisting persons who resort thereto to bet between themselves or with the keeper, or
(b) enabling any person to receive, record, register, transmit or pay bets or to announce the results of betting; (maison de pari)

common gaming house means a place that is

(a) kept for gain to which persons resort for the purpose of playing games, or
(b) kept or used for the purpose of playing games
(i) in which a bank is kept by one or more but not all of the players,
(ii) in which all or any portion of the bets on or proceeds from a game is paid, directly or indirectly, to the keeper of the place,
(iii) in which, directly or indirectly, a fee is charged to or paid by the players for the privilege of playing or participating in a game or using gaming equipment, or
(iv) in which the chances of winning are not equally favourable to all persons who play the game, including the person, if any, who conducts the game; (maison de jeu)

...
disorderly house means a common bawdy-house, a common betting house or a common gaming house; (maison de désordre)
...
game means a game of chance or mixed chance and skill; (jeu)
gaming equipment means anything that is or may be used for the purpose of playing games or for betting; (matériel de jeu)
...
keeper includes a person who

(a) is an owner or occupier of a place,
(b) assists or acts on behalf of an owner or occupier of a place,
(c) appears to be, or to assist or act on behalf of an owner or occupier of a place,
(d) has the care or management of a place, or
(e) uses a place permanently or temporarily, with or without the consent of the owner or occupier thereof; (tenancier)


...
Exception
(2) A place is not a common gaming house within the meaning of paragraph (a) or subparagraph (b)(ii) or (iii) of the definition “common gaming house” in subsection (1) while it is occupied and used by an incorporated genuine social club or branch thereof, if

(a) the whole or any portion of the bets on or proceeds from games played therein is not directly or indirectly paid to the keeper thereof; and
(b) no fee is charged to persons for the right or privilege of participating in the games played therein other than under the authority of and in accordance with the terms of a licence issued by the Attorney General of the province in which the place is situated or by such other person or authority in the province as may be specified by the Attorney General thereof.

Onus
(3) The onus of proving that, by virtue of subsection (2), a place is not a common gaming house is on the accused.
Effect when game partly played on premises
(4) A place may be a common gaming house notwithstanding that

(a) it is used for the purpose of playing part of a game and another part of the game is played elsewhere;
(b) the stake that is played for is in some other place; or
(c) it is used on only one occasion in the manner described in paragraph (b) of the definition “common gaming house” in subsection (1), if the keeper or any person acting on behalf of or in concert with the keeper has used another place on another occasion in the manner described in that paragraph.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 197; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 29; 2014, c. 25, s. 12.


Exemptions

Participation of Third Parties

See also: Role of the Victim and Third Parties and Testimonial Aids for Young, Disabled or Vulnerable Witnesses

Testimonial Aids
Certain persons who testify are entitled to make application for the use of testimonial aids: Exclusion of Public (s. 486), Use of a Testimonial Screen (s. 486), Access to Support Person While Testifying (s. 486.1), Close Proximity Video-link Testimony (s. 486.2), Self-Represented Cross-Examination Prohibition Order (s. 486.3), and Witness Security Order (s. 486.7).

A witness, victim or complainant may also request publication bans (s. 486.4, 486.5) and/or a Witness Identity Non-disclosure Order (s. 486.31). See also, Publication Bans, above.

On Finding of Guilt
Under s. 738, a judge must inquire from the Crown before sentencing whether "reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victims with an opportunity to indicate whether they are seeking restitution for their losses and damages".

Under s. 722(2), the judge must inquire "[a]s soon as feasible" before sentencing with the Crown "if reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victim with an opportunity to prepare" a victim impact statement. This will include any person "who has suffered, or is alleged to have suffered, physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss" as a result of the offence. Individuals representing a community impacted by the crime may file a statement under s. 722.2.

Sentencing Principles and Ranges

See also: Purpose and Principles of Sentencing, Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offender, and Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offence

Maximum Penalties
Offences under s. 201(1) and 202(2) are straight indictable. The maximum penalty is 2 years incarceration.

Offences under s. 201(2) are straight summary conviction offences. The maximum penalty is 2 years incarceration.

Minimum Penalties
Offences under s. 201(1) and (2) have no mandatory minimum penalties.

For offences under s. 202 and 203 have a mandatory minimum of 14 days jail on a second conviction and 3 months jail on three or more convictions there is a mandatory minimum penalty of {{{2}}}.

Available Dispositions

Offence(s) Crown
Election
Discharge
s. 730
Suspended
Sentence

s. 731(1)(a)
Stand-alone
Fine

s. 731(1)(b)
Custody
s. 718.3, 787
Custody and
Probation
s. 731(1)(b)
Custody and
Fine
s. 734
Conditional
Sentence
(CSO)
s. 742.1
s. 201(1) and (2), 202(2)
N/A OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png
s. 202 and 203
With prior convictions
N/A X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png

All dispositions are available.The judge may order a discharge (s. 730), suspended sentence (s. 731(1)(a)), fine (s. 731(1)(b)), custody (s. 718.3, 787), custody with probation (s. 731(1)(b)), custody with a fine (s. 734), or a conditional sentence (s. 742.1).

Consecutive Sentences
There are no statutory requirements that the sentences be consecutive.

Ranges
Discharges, either conditional or absolute, are a possible disposition for first-time offenders. [1]

  1. R v Colosimo, 2011 MBPC 70 (CanLII)

Ancillary Sentencing Orders

See also: Ancillary Orders

Offence-specific Orders

  • None

General Sentencing Orders

Order Conviction Description
Non-communication order under s. 743.21 any while offender in custody.
Restitution Orders any a discretionary Order on application under s. 738, for things such as the replacement value of the property; the pecuniary damages incurred from harm, expenses fleeing a domestic partner; or certain expenses arising from the commission of an offence under s.402.2 or 403.
Victim Fine Surcharge any A mandatory surcharge under s. 737 of 30% of any fine order imposed, $100 per summary conviction or $200 per indictable conviction. If offence occurs on or after October 23, 2013, the order is discretionary based on ability to pay if before.

General Forfeiture Orders

Forfeiture Conviction Description
Forfeiture of Weapons and Firearms (s. 491) any Where there is finding of guilt for an offence where a "weapon, an imitation firearm, a prohibited device, any ammunition, any prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance was used in the commission of [the] offence and that thing has been seized and detained", or "that a person has committed an offence that involves, or the subject-matter of which is, a firearm, a cross-bow, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance has been seized and detained, that the item be an enumerated weapon or related item be connected to the offence", then there will be a mandatory forfeiture order. However, under s. 491(2), if the lawful owner "was not a party to the offence" and the judge has "no reasonable grounds to believe that the thing would or might be used in the commission of an offence", then it should be returned to the lawful owner.

History

See also: List of Criminal Code Amendments

1985 to 2008

Betting, pool-selling, book-making, etc.
202. (1) Every one commits an offence who

(a) uses or knowingly allows a place under his control to be used for the purpose of recording or registering bets or selling a pool;
(b) imports, makes, buys, sells, rents, leases, hires or keeps, exhibits, employs or knowingly allows to be kept, exhibited or employed in any place under his control any device or apparatus for the purpose of recording or registering bets or selling a pool, or any machine or device for gambling or betting;
(c) has under his control any money or other property relating to a transaction that is an offence under this section;
(d) records or registers bets or sells a pool;
(e) engages in book-making or pool-selling, or in the business or occupation of betting, or makes any agreement for the purchase or sale of betting or gaming privileges, or for the purchase or sale of information that is intended to assist in book-making, pool-selling or betting;
(f) prints, provides or offers to print or provide information intended for use in connection with book-making, pool-selling or betting on any horse-race, fight, game or sport, whether or not it takes place in or outside Canada or has or has not taken place;
(g) imports or brings into Canada any information or writing that is intended or is likely to promote or be of use in gambling, book-making, pool-selling or betting on a horse-race, fight, game or sport, and where this paragraph applies it is immaterial
(i) whether the information is published before, during or after the race, fight game or sport, or
(ii) whether the race, fight, game or sport takes place in Canada or elsewhere,

but this paragraph does not apply to a newspaper, magazine or other periodical published in good faith primarily for a purpose other than the publication of such information;

(h) advertises, prints, publishes, exhibits, posts up, or otherwise gives notice of any offer, invitation or inducement to bet on, to guess or to foretell the result of a contest, or a result of or contingency relating to any contest;
(i) wilfully and knowingly sends, transmits, delivers or receives any message by radio, telegraph, telephone, mail or express that conveys any information relating to book-making, pool-selling, betting or wagering, or that is intended to assist in book-making, pool-selling, betting or wagering; or
(j) aids or assists in any manner in anything that is an offence under this section.

Punishment
(2) Every one who commits an offence under this section is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(a) for a first offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years;
(b) for a second offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years and not less than fourteen days; and
(c) for each subsequent offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years and not less than three months.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 186; 1974-75-76, c. 93, s. 11.

Placing bets on behalf of others
203. Every one who

(a) places or offers or agrees to place a bet on behalf of another person for a consideration paid or to be paid by or on behalf of that other person,
(b) engages in the business or practice of placing or agreeing to place bets on behalf of other persons, whether for a consideration or otherwise, or
(c) holds himself out or allows himself to be held out as engaging in the business or practice of placing or agreeing to place bets on behalf of other persons, whether for a consideration or otherwise,

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

(d) for a first offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years,
(e) for a second offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years and not less than fourteen days, and
(f) for each subsequent offence, to imprisonment for not more than two years and not less than three months.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 187; 1974-75-76, c. 93, s. 11.


CCC

See Also

References