New York Penal Law 225.65: Use of counterfeit, unapproved or unlawful wagering documents
Casinos and other gambling establishments are designed so that the games of chance are fair to everyone who plays. The chances of winning are always slanted in the gambling establishment’s favor, which is fair and consistent as these are places of business and their goal is to cover their expenses and show a profit. Some gambling establishments are set at a higher pay-back rate than others, which is also a fair business practice. Everyone who plays these games can choose what games they play and which establishments they go to.
However, trying to cheat a gambling establishment by using counterfeit, unapproved, or unlawful wagering documents is not a fair practice and is considered a criminal offense in New York. This is a violation of New York penal code 225.65, and is considered a class A misdemeanor.
New York Penal Code 225.65 Broken Down
This New York code states that a person is guilty of violating the law when they knowingly use any unapproved waging tools such as chips, checks, tokens, vouchers, or other wagering instruments that were approved by the appropriate gambling regulatory authority. This is considered a counterfeit means of transaction and is a crime in the state of New York. Different games of chance have increased in popularity over the years in New York and across the country. New York has strict laws regarding these gambling establishments to make the games fair for the consumer. Penal Code 225.65 is a law that protects the establishments from people who try to cheat them using counterfeit documents.
Violation of Penal Code 225.65 is considered a class A misdemeanor. A conviction could result in up to 1 year in jail, probation of up to 3 years, and a potential fine.
For example, Person A went to a casino and lost a substantial amount of money. In the process, he thought that he could manufacture a token that was a high enough quality that the gambling employees would not recognize the difference. When he came back with the counterfeit tokens, he was caught almost immediately. Person A was arrested and charged with violating Penal Code 225.65 because he had possession of several counterfeit tokens, he knew they were counterfeit because he made them, and he tried to use them.
Another scenario would be if Person A were able to pass his homemade tokens successfully and the employees paid out the counterfeit tokens to Person B. When Person B used the tokens, that is when the deception was discovered and Person B was arrested. The defense for Person B would be that he had no way of knowing the tokens were counterfeit because he received them from the casino. The law requires that the user “knows” the counterfeit tokens are illegal and uses them anyway.
Although violation of Penal Code 225.65 only results in a misdemeanor charge, this is still a serious crime. A conviction could result in a year in jail and a criminal record that you have to report on future job applications. This could destroy your chances of getting a job in several industries in the future. If you get charged with use of counterfeit, unapproved or unlawful wagering documents in any gambling establishment, the first thing you should do is contact a good New York defense attorney. A good attorney experienced with cases of this type will be able to give you the best defense possible to either drop the charges and clear your name, or minimize the sentence so you can get on with your life.