According to the Orlando Sentinel, in June of 2012, Orange County Deputies interrupted an ongoing gambling operation at a condominium located in Waterford Lakes. This was a sophisticated operation, including a guard armed with a 9mm handgun. Police reported they found poker games in progress in the living room of the condominium as well as in a bedroom. In addition to the man with the gun who was acting as lookout, the police arrested a "money man" who was handing out chips and who had $1,680 in cash. The resident of the condo and a man from Orlando were both dealing cards. Investigators also found a poker table, cards, a ledger and chips.

In Florida, only the Native American ( in Florida, the Seminole) owned casinos are exempt from the state gambling laws. The state allows for social gambling, where a $10.00 limit is imposed. The offenses of Simple Gambling and of Aggravated Gambling often times appear to carry the same penalty; they are both considered a misdemeanor. The difference between simple gambling and aggravated gambling differs from state to state but is usually equivalent to whether or not someone is making money on a game of chance, over and beyond what they might make as a participant in the games themselves. It also deals with what one could call "professional".

Florida does not recognize the Dominant Factor Test. Where recognized, this test addresses whether the gambling is primarily a game of chance, or whether there is a larger element of skill than chance.
On July 1, 2003, Florida authorized card rooms to offer poker limits of $2.00 per bet, with a limit of three raises per betting round.

The incident reported by the Orlando Sentinel was obviously a "professional" operation. They simply had too much money present for it not to be. The facts speak for themselves. These four are very lucky that their lookout did not discharge the firearm he had in his possession, as this certainly would have been a felony.

When the law is clear-cut and obvious, or when case law is right on point, a lawyer's job is relatively easy; that is, unless the client is clearly guilty but wants to plead not guilty. In cases where the law is somewhat ambiguous, such as interpreting some parts the Florida gambling law, the job becomes much more difficult. Even though "simple gambling" and "aggravated gambling" both are prosecuted as misdemeanors, the judge will doubtless point out the difference to a jury and will also consider it in sentencing. It is still important to retain a lawyer that works on gambling charges in this situation to do a solid job deciphering the laws and making a solid defense for your criminal charges. Please call The Umansky Law Firm with any additional questions.

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