Criminal Law

2994. Recording Bets

The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with recording [or registering] a bet.

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant recorded [or registered] a bet;


2. When the defendant acted, (he/she) knew that (he/she) was recording or registering a bet.

A bet is a wager or agreement between two or more people that if an uncertain future event happens, the loser will (pay money to the winner/ [or] give the winner something of value). [A bet includes a wager made on the outcome of any actual or purported event, including but not limited to any kind of sporting contest [or <insert description of event from Pen. Code, § 337a>.] [It is not necessary that the event that was bet on actually take place.]

Recording [or registering] a bet means making a notation on paper, or using any other material or device, to allow winnings on the bet to be distributed in the future. [Recording [or registering] a bet does not require the type of registering or recording that occurs in a legitimate business establishment.]

Bench Notes

Instructional Duty

The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the crime.


Elements. Pen. Code, § 337a, subd. 4; People v. Allen (1953) 115 Cal.App.2d 745, 747 [252 P.2d 968].

Knowledge Required. See People v. Coppla (1950) 100 Cal.App.2d 766, 768 [224 P.2d 828].

Bet Defined. People v. Oreck (1946) 74 Cal.App.2d 215, 220 [168 P.2d 186].

Event Need Not Occur. People v. Warnick (1948) 86 Cal.App.2d 900, 902 [195 P.2d 552].

Recording a Bet. People v. Ross (1950) 100 Cal.App.2d 116, 121 [223 P.2d 85].

Seconday Sources

2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000), Crimes Against Public Peace and Welfare, § 281.

(New January 2006)