Criminal Law

2995. Permitting Place to Be Used for Betting Activities

The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with permitting a place to be used for betting activities.

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

1. The defendant owned, rented, or occupied a place;

2. The defendant allowed the place to be used for (bookmaking[,]/ [or] pool selling[,]/ [or] recording [or registering] bets[,]/ [or] receiving, holding, or forwarding bets);


3. The defendant knew that the place was being used for that purpose.

As used here, a place means the whole or part of any (room[,]/ [or] building[,]/ [or] stand[,]/ [or] shed[,]/ [or] tenement[,]/ [or] tent[,]/ [or] booth[,]/ [or] float[,]/ [or] vessel[,]/ [or] vehicle[,]/ [or] enclosure) of any kind.

[Bookmaking includes the taking of bets, either orally or recorded in writing. The defendant does not need to be involved in betting as a business or occupation. The taking of one bet is sufficient.]

[Pool selling means selling or distributing shares or chances in a betting pool. The defendant does not need to be involved in selling or distributing shares or chances as a business or occupation. A single act that violates the statute is sufficient. [It is not necessary that the event that is the subject of a betting pool actually take place.]]

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. 5.

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

"Place" Applies to Vehicle. People v. Roche (1945) 68 Cal.App.2d 665, 669-670 [157 P.2d 440].

Bookmaking Defined. People v. Thompson (1962) 206 Cal.App.2d 734, 739 [24 Cal.Rptr. 101]; People v. Fontes (1970) 7 Cal.App.3d 650, 653-654 [86 Cal.Rptr. 760]; People v. Bradford (1949) 95 Cal.App.2d 372, 377-378 [213 P.2d 37].

Pool Selling Defined. Finster v. Keller (1971) 18 Cal.App.3d 836, 846 [96 Cal.Rptr. 241]; 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].

Writing Not Required. Pen. Code, § 337a, subd. 1; People v. Burch (1953) 118 Cal.App.2d 122, 124 [257 P.2d 44].

One Bet Sufficient. People v. Buckman (1960) 186 Cal.App.2d 38, 50 [8 Cal.Rptr. 765].

Event Need Not Occur. People v. Ghio (1927) 82 Cal.App. 28, 32-33 [255 P. 205].

Secondary Sources

2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000), Crimes Against Public Peace and Welfare, § 280.

(New January 2006)