Brief Analysis of Murphy v. NCAA and PASPA: Is Gambling in New York Now Legal and are Gambling Crimes Invalidated

With a collective sigh from all sides of the gambling isle, both in relief and pain, what to date has often been associated with Las Vegas and spawned Classics from “Goodfellas”  to “Casino,” may now be offered to the masses across the United States and in the light of day. Practically speaking, what does Murphy v. NCAA mean to New York? Have the crimes of Promoting Gambling and other related New York Penal Law offenses just been normalized? If our highest court says gambling is legal, then, well, it can’t be criminal. Right? Arguably one could conclude that, but it behooves you as a bookie or anyone facilitating sports gambling in or touching New York to truly understand not merely the magnitude of this decision, but what it really means. You might be surprised…

Before you run out and starting handicapping cases and figuring out how to wager a parlay on a few college football games, let me, a criminal lawyer, albeit not yours, burst your proverbial bubble. Murphy v. NCAA did NOT legalize gambling. What it did, in its simplest terms, was take some of Las Vegas’ and Reno’s luster away and tarnish up Casino stock a bit on the DJI. With the Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), that in substance prevented gambling outside of Nevada, the judges decided that each state, New York included, can make its own decision as to how they want to legislate sports betting and gambling. What was criminal last month is still today, but New York, like any other state, now has the right to institute its own laws and policies. To that end, both Promoting Gambling and Possession of Gambling Records are still criminal offenses set forth in the New York Penal Law. In fact, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, each of these crimes and their degrees not only expose you to incarceration, but depending on the nature of your conduct, the New York State Attorney General or the District Attorney prosecuting the case can likely pursue more significant felonies including higher degrees of Grand Larceny and Money Laundering. Does that mean the law will not change to allow for legal sports gambling, for example? The answer to that question remains with the New York State legislature.

At bottom, whether or not New York State legalizes gambling, the Penal Law as it stands today is clear. If you violate a New York Penal Law Article 225 crime, then there are serious consequences. Even in the best case scenario, because the State of New York and the respective sports leagues will want a piece of gambling proceeds and have a responsibility to to ensure the integrity of the gambling business, it would be far from shocking if New York State’s Penal and criminal laws remained, in large part, how they are today. However, do not be surprised when carve outs are drafted and new laws are created to allow for the further legitimization of gambling practices.

To learn more about New York gambling laws, crimes and offenses, follow the respective links provided here.

The New York criminal lawyers and gambling defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC represent clients throughout the New York City and Hudson Valley region. The New York criminal defense attorneys and gambling lawyers at Crotty Saland PC served as Manhattan prosecutors before establishing the law practice.

 

Updated: