Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Illegal Gambling Charges in Iowa

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Iowa Criminal Law » Illegal Gambling Charges in Iowa

In the state of Iowa, gambling is generally illegal unless it is done in an authorized manner (e.g. a casino or the lottery). Iowa Code Section 725.7 addresses Gaming and Betting penalties:


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   1.  Except as permitted in chapters 99B and 99D, a person shall
      not do any of the following:
         a.  Participate in a game for any sum of money or other
      property of any value.
         b.  Make any bet.
         c.  For a fee, directly or indirectly, give or accept anything
      of value to be wagered or to be transmitted or delivered for a wager
      to be placed within or without the state of Iowa.
         d.  For a fee, deliver anything of value which has been
      received outside the enclosure of a racetrack licensed under chapter
      99D to be placed as wagers in the pari-mutuel pool or other
      authorized systems of wagering.
         e.  Engage in bookmaking.
         2.  A person who violates this section is guilty of the following:

         a.  Illegal gaming in the fourth degree if the sum of money or
      value of other property involved does not exceed one hundred dollars.
      Illegal gaming in the fourth degree constitutes the following:
         (1)  A serious misdemeanor for a first offense.
         (2)  An aggravated misdemeanor for a second offense.
         (3)  A class "D" felony for a third offense.
         (4)  A class "C" felony for a fourth or subsequent offense.
         b.  Illegal gaming in the third degree if the sum of money or
      value of other property involved exceeds one hundred dollars but does
      not exceed five hundred dollars.  Illegal gaming in the third degree
      constitutes the following:
         (1)  An aggravated misdemeanor for a first offense.
         (2)  A class "D" felony for a second offense.
         (3)  A class "C" felony for a third or subsequent offense.
         c.  Illegal gaming in the second degree if the sum of money or
      value of other property involved exceeds five hundred dollars but
      does not exceed five thousand dollars.  Illegal gaming in the second
      degree constitutes the following:
         (1)  A class "D" felony for a first offense.
         (2)  A class "C" felony for a second or subsequent offense.
         d.  Illegal gaming in the first degree if the sum of money or
      value of other property involved exceeds five thousand dollars.
      Illegal gaming in the first degree constitutes a class "C" felony.

A class C felony is punishable by 10 years in prison, while a Class D felony is punishable by 5 years in prison. An Aggravated Misdemeanor can carry a 2 year prison term, while a Serious Misdemeanor can carry a 1 year term in the county jail. Fines and probation can also be imposed by the court.

Iowa Code Section 725.8 also provides that property that was used for gambling or won through gambling can be forfeit and seized by the state of Iowa.

Given the serious nature of the penalties if convicted of illegal gaming and betting in Iowa, a person facing such charges should promptly consult with an attorney, as it is important to properly handle such a case.


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