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Despite heavy negotiations between existing casino organizations and state lawmakers, Florida does not appear to be close to legalizing sports betting. This does not mean there is no market for gambling, as the opposite is true. Sports betting is as popular as ever, but Florida residents and visitors are forced to place their bets with bookies instead of at racetracks and casinos. Bookmaking is illegal under Florida statute 849.25, and a violation could lead to third-degree felony charges for any person involved in the operation. If a person is convicted once for bookmaking, they would then face second-degree felony charges for a subsequent offense. The bookmaking laws are harsh and judges and prosecutors take these offenses seriously. There is no logical reason why bookmaking should be a felony, but that’s the law right now and if you are charged it is imperative to contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida gambling lawyer who specializes in charges such as bookmaking and operating a gambling house. He is available 7 days a week to offer a free consultation at (954) 543-0305 and has flexible meeting hours at his Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach locations. Contact Benjamin if you have been charged with any gambling related offense in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin or St. Lucie County and start preparing your defense.

Bookmaking is the act of taking or receiving any bet or wager upon the result of a contest. The bets must be taken while engaged in the business of gambling in order to qualify as bookmaking, which means there has to be some level of sophistication. The law does not look to punish two friends betting with each other on a football game or two. Rather, for a person to be prosecuted for bookmaking the state must provide evidence that the defendant either took more than 5 wagers in a single day, took more than $500 in bets per day or $1,500 per week or engaged in a common scheme with two or more persons to take or receive wagers. The state can also show the defendant used odds to produce profits, hedged bets with other bookmakers or provide any other evidence that shows a degree of organization and sophistication in order to prove a case for bookmaking.

Benjamin defends clients charged with all gambling related offenses including casino trespass, casino theft and operating a house for gambling. The penalties for trespassing at a casino and theft from a casino are the same as the standard penalties, but casino security officers are typically more involved in the cases then other civilian witnesses. This translates to increased pressure on the prosecutors to push for harsher penalties. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to fight back and argue for a dismissal regardless of any outside pressure from casino staff, or other civilian witnesses. Anyone charged with operating a gambling house faces second-degree misdemeanor charges that could include a short stint in jail, a permanent criminal conviction and forfeiture of money and property. If you have been charged with gambling in any Florida jurisdiction contact criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Herbst immediately at (954) 543-0305 for a free consultation. Benjamin continues to fight for his clients until the best outcome is achieved, and he never backs down from going to trial if that is the best decision. He provides all clients with his cell phone number and is always available to answer questions or to provide legal counseling on nights and weekends.

Client Reviews
My family and I could not be more grateful for everything you did for me. I truly thought my future would be permanently impacted and I would never be able to join the military or even go to college. Because of your hard work I still have the opportunity to do both. Thank you so much! - T.S.
Hiring you was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Thank you for supporting me and for your willingness to take the state to trial. Another lawyer may have tried to get me to take a plea, but you were ready to fight from day one. I’m so glad to have this case behind me, and have you to thank for it. - R.D.
I can’t thank you enough for your personal attention to the mess I got myself into. You don't know what a relief it is to be done with this criminal case. I never ever thought I would have been charged with a crime, but having you as my lawyer made the entire situation bearable. You gave me confidence that I would be able to overcome this from day one, and you followed through. Take care of yourself and your family, and thanks again for everything! - S.S.
You never backed down from the state, and you supported my decision to go to trial. Then you delivered in court. I appreciate you Ben. - T.C
I appreciate the hard work you put into my case, and my wife and I can’t thank you enough. Without you I could have lost everything. I’ll never forget what you did for me. - J.B.