Sunday, August 11, 2013

E-5: Gambling Debt 101

Statute of Anne (1710)
o   Any money lent to someone with the known purpose that it was to be used for gambling was held as void and unenforceable.
o   Gambling debt is considered a contract and treated like a contract for prostitution. The court will leave the parties where it finds them and will automatically dismiss every claim.

Gambling Debts
o   Lawsuits brought in the state where the bet was made
§  The common route is to get a judgment in the state in which the debt occurred and then go after the debt via the federal Full Faith & Credit clause of the constitution.
o   Lawsuits brought in a different state from where the bet was made
§  Usually, but not guaranteed, a casino can bring a lawsuit against the patron for their gambling debt in the state where he/she lives.
§  Not so if the court deems gambling to be so against local public policy that it chooses not to hear the case.
§  Due to the popularity of lottery and bingo, it’s realistically quite difficult to find a court that would oppose gambling on public policy grounds.

Unenforceable Debt
o   Any debt incurred for the purpose of making an illegal bet.
§  Includes: Bets to bookies, checks written at home poker games, etc
o   Any debt incurred for making legal bets outside a legislatively authorized format.

Enforceable Debt
o   Those which have been deemed legal by statutory amendment to common law.

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