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Trusted Defense For Complex Criminal Cases Illegal Gambling Business

Orange County Illegal Gambling Business Defense Lawyer

California does have legal casinos, but it also has strict regulations to control the gambling industry. If you are accused of being involved in an illegal gambling business, you can be charged with a serious crime. These charges could apply whether you are the owner or an employee.

Law Office of Diane C. Bass is a trusted criminal defense attorney with over 25 years of experience, and she understands the stress and fear that accompany such allegations. Our team is here to help you understand the criminal defense process, and we can aggressively defend you against illegal gambling charges.

To schedule time with our attorney, call our office today at (949) 990-4195.

What Is an Illegal Gambling Business?

California uses specific standards to define an illegal gambling business.

The state considers a gambling operation illegal when it meets the following three criteria:

  • It is a gambling business that violates local law
  • It involves five or more people who are conducting, financing, managing, supervising, directing, or owning all or part of the business
  • It operates for at least 30 days consecutively, and on any of those days, it has a gross revenue of $2,000 or more.

Illegal gambling businesses can include places like casinos or poker rooms. They can also include businesses that are not directly related to gambling, such as restaurants or bars, if those spaces are used for illegal gambling.

In California, an illegal gambling business does not need to be a large-scale operation. It can involve a handful of people, as long as they meet the above criteria.

Illegal Gambling Penalties

Under California Penal Code Section 330 PC, operating an illegal gambling business is a “wobbler” crime. A wobbler can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on several factors. The authorities consider factors such as your criminal history and the case’s circumstances to determine the crime’s severity.

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you face up to one year in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If you are convicted of a felony, you face 16 months, two years, or three years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Depending on the situation, you may also face additional charges and penalties for criminal activities related to the gambling business in federal court, such as fraud, money laundering, or racketeering.

Illegal Sports Betting

Illegal sports betting is a type of illegal gambling business. It involves betting on sporting events, such as professional football or baseball games. It is a form of gambling commonly found in California.

Under California law, it is illegal to place a bet on a sporting event, whether as an individual or as part of a gambling business. It is also illegal to take a bet on a sporting event as a business or single person.


The penalties for illegal sports betting can be severe. When convicted of a misdemeanor, you face up to one year in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. If the state chooses to charge the crime as a felony, you face 16 months, two years, or three years in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Illegal Gambling Defenses

If you are charged with operating an illegal gambling business, you have the right to defend yourself in court. Hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to protect your rights and build a strong defense.

Some defenses we can use in a gambling allegation include:

  • Lack of Intent
    To be accused of this crime, you must have the specific intent to operate an illegal gambling business. If you did not have this intent, you cannot be convicted of this crime. For example, if you were forced to operate the business against your will, or you just thought you were playing poker with your buddies, you could beat an illegal gambling business charge
  • Lack of Evidence
    The prosecution needs strong evidence to prove that you were involved in an illegal gambling business. Without sufficient evidence, they have a weak case, and you may be able to beat the allegations against you.
  • Lack of Knowledge
    Under California law, you must know that the business involved illegal gambling activities. If you were not aware that the business was involved in illegal gambling, you could use evidence to prove this claim, possibly beating your charges. You must also know all the activities that take place in the business to be convicted of this crime. If someone operated an illegal gambling business within your establishment without your knowledge, you can argue that you were not involved in the crime.

How Law Office of Diane C. Bass Can Help You

A conviction for operating an illegal gambling business can lead to jail, prison time, fines, and a permanent criminal record. This record can make it difficult for you to find employment, obtain housing, or get a loan.

Our firm defends clients accused of illegal gambling. We can investigate your case thoroughly and present clear, compelling evidence in court. Our team can robustly challenge the prosecution's case, always working toward fair results for you. We stand by you through every stage of the legal process and are committed to fighting for your rights.

If you are facing charges as an illegal gambling business in Orange County, schedule a consultation with our attorney online.

Watch Attorney Bass discuss the recent case involving Shohei Ohtani from the Los Angeles Dodgers!

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Trusted By Clients

Reviews & Testimonials
    "She will put your anxiety at ease and get you through the tangled system."
    Diane is the perfect mix of gentle understanding and fierce action you’ll need if you find yourself dealing with the OC court system.
    - Angie T.
    "Whatever you’re going through, I’m confident Diane will achieve the best outcome you could hope for."
    My first impression was that she’s very experienced, no-nonsense, knows the law, how the system works, and was very busy as a result. I quickly realized that she exceeded even those first impressions but also cared very much about my story, needs, an
    - Daniel B.
    "From the start of my case, she has been there for me."
    First of all, I would like to thank Diane for everything she has done for me. From the start of my case, she has been there for me. Only very few people were granted bond and she pulled it off in my case. I know for a fact not too many lawyers could have done that. I am on probation for three years.. while “the others” will not have the chance to raise their children and live their lives. I was headed to prison….I am free.. and for that, I am forever grateful.
    - John H.
    "Diane Bass is a phenomenal attorney."
    After meeting with Diane I felt immediate comfort, and I was sold on the fact that I could trust this amazing person with my life. Diane Bass was there for me every step of the way like no other attorney had ever been.
    - Ryan O.
    "She is not afraid to battle for you. With her, you will never be alone."
    Diane is a brilliant attorney. She listens carefully to your problems and clearly advises you with honesty. She was with me from the first day of my case and I have never been disappointed in any way.
    - Maria K.
    "I highly recommend Diane if you are dealing with legal troubles of your own."
    Since this being my first Federal offense, I had no idea what to expect. I was extremely anxious. After talking to Diane, I felt like she was the attorney I needed to help me get through these challenging times. Her professionalism and knowledge of the law
    - Adam P.
    "Diane’s work is second to none."

    Diane’s work is second to none. I was charged with felony DV, and after working with one firm in Irvine that did absolutely nothing, I did some hard research and found Diane. She worked quickly and diligently and got the case dismissed. I absolutely don’t foresee me needing a criminal lawyer down the road, but if I do, it’ll be Diane hands down!

    - Shadic A.
    "Diane is the most professional, thorough attorney I have ever met."
    Her expertise, connections, analysis, and comprehensive review of my situation were more than I could ever ask. I am extremely grateful and couldn't be happier with my choice!
    - Jeff R.

Why Choose Law Office of Diane C. Bass?

  • Top-Rated & Award-Winning Legal Representation
    We consistently deliver results that exceed expectations, earning the trust of clients and accolades from the legal community.
  • 25+ Years of Criminal Defense Legal Experience
    With over 25 years of criminal defense legal experience, we bring a wealth of seasoned insight and a proven track record of success to every case we handle.
  • Extensive Knowledge & Experience With Federal Cases
    With extensive knowledge and experience in federal cases, we offer comprehensive legal strategies tailored to the complexities of each situation.
  • An Outstanding Reputation Amongst Clients & Peers
    Our reputation among clients and peers alike reflects our unwavering dedication to achieving the best possible outcomes for those we represent.
  • Featured in the Media
    Attorney Bass is frequently featured in media outlets such as The Washington Post, LA Times, ESPN, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and more.
  • Track Record of Success
    With a track record of handling some of the most significant cases in the Central District of California, our firm brings unmatched experience to every client's defense.
  • Selected by Super Lawyers Since 2022
  • Avvo 10.0 Rating
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Top 100 Lawyers

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