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People v. Dugan

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 20, 1985.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT,

v.

ROBERT DUGAN ET AL., APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Second District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County, the Hon. William D. Block and William F. Homer, Judges, presiding.

JUSTICE MILLER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied December 2, 1985.

Following a bench trial in the circuit court of Lake County, the defendants were convicted of syndicated gambling stemming from their operation of a private club where patrons bet on card and dice games. In a separate civil proceeding, the court ordered the forfeiture of an automobile owned by a defendant and involved in the gambling activities. The appeals of those judgments were consolidated. The appellate court reversed the defendants' convictions because there was no evidence that the players' bets were recorded; the court affirmed the order for the forfeiture of the automobile. (125 Ill. App.3d 820.) We allowed the State's petition for leave to appeal (94 Ill.2d R. 315(a)), and that brought before us an attack on the forfeiture order as well (see 87 Ill.2d R. 318(a)).

An undercover investigation of several months' duration by the Illinois Department of Law Enforcement culminated in a raid of the Northern Illinois Fin and Tail Feather Club on September 10, 1982. The club occupied rented quarters in the basement of a restaurant near Grayslake and was operated in the manner of a casino. Six undercover agents were present the night of the raid. Arriving at the club in pairs, the agents purchased chips and then proceeded to gamble on games of blackjack and craps. The defendants were performing various functions. Robert Dugan and Norman Roberts supervised matters, and Bill Anagnostara acted as doorman; the six remaining defendants — Trina Brie, Edward Kahn, Peter Lambiris, Barbara Miller, James Siegal, and Sharon Skelton — handled duties such as selling chips, dealing cards, and operating the dice games. At about 11 p.m. one of the agents left the club briefly on the pretext of retrieving something from her car. She returned with a group of law-enforcement officers, who secured the premises and arrested the defendants. Numerous items of evidence were seized, including tables, chips, decks of cards, and dice.

The defendants later were indicted and convicted for syndicated gambling, a violation of section 28-1.1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 28-1.1), and sentenced to various dispositions. Section 28-1.1(b) provides:

"A person commits syndicated gambling when he operates a `policy game' or engages in the business of bookmaking." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch, 38, par. 28-1.1(b).)

The basis here for the charge of syndicated gambling was bookmaking, defined in section 28-1.1(d) as follows:

"A person engages in bookmaking when he receives or accepts more than five bets or wagers upon the results of any trials or contests of skill, speed or power of endurance or upon any lot, chance, casualty, unknown or contingent event whatsoever, which bets or wagers shall be of such size that the total of the amounts of money paid or promised to be paid to such bookmaker on account thereof shall exceed $2,000. Bookmaking is the receiving or accepting of such bets or wagers regardless of the form or manner in which the bookmaker records them." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 28-1.1(d).

The appellate court rejected the defendants' argument that their conduct here, playing card and dice games for money, could not be bookmaking as defined by statute. A majority of the court agreed with the defendants, however, that making or keeping a record of the bets or wagers was an additional element of the offense, which was not satisfied by the use of chips as memorials; accordingly, the court reversed the convictions. The dissenting justice believed that the statute did not require that the wagers be recorded and therefore would have affirmed the convictions. With respect to the forfeiture proceeding, the court affirmed the forfeiture order, finding sufficient evidence that the car had been used in illegal gambling activity with knowledge and consent of its owner.

A major aspect of this appeal concerns the extent to which the current statutory definition of "bookmaking," the activity that underlies the defendants' convictions for syndicated gambling, departs from previous uses of the term. The defendants maintain that bookmaking occurs when a wager is made on an event such as a horse race or sports contest in which neither the bettor nor the bookmaker is a participant. That is the more familiar situation found in prosecutions for syndicated gambling based on bookmaking (see, e.g., People v. Caffrey (1983), 97 Ill.2d 526 (football and basketball games); People v. Miller (1984), 128 Ill. App.3d 574 (horse races and baseball and football games); People v. Greenman (1976), 38 Ill. App.3d 734 (sporting events)), and the defendants suggest that playing card or dice games for money, the extent of their activity here, did not constitute bookmaking but rather gambling (see Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 28-1(a)(1) ("[p]lays a game of chance or skill for money or other thing of value")).

The definition of "bookmaking" found in section 28-1.1(d) is broad enough to include the defendants' conduct here. The statute applies to "bets or wagers upon the result of any trials or contests of skill, speed or power of endurance or upon any lot, chance, casualty, unknown or contingent event whatsoever" and does not contain the limitation suggested by the defendants. The appellate court correctly held that the bookmaking provision could apply here, where the bettor and the bookmaker were participants in the contest on which the wager was laid.

The appellate court reversed the defendants' convictions because there was no proof of any method by which the players' bets had been recorded. The court found the requirement of a recording expressed in the second sentence of the bookmaking definition, which says, "Bookmaking is the receiving or accepting of such bets or wagers regardless of the form or manner in which the bookmaker records them" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 28-1.1(d)), and rejected the State's theory that the use of chips at the club constituted a sufficient form of record keeping. In support of the appellate court's interpretation of the provision, the defendants point to the legislature's continued use of the term "bookmaking," which, they contend, traditionally has required some form of recording (see People v. Lloyd (1954), 3 Ill. App.2d 257, 257l; 38 Am.Jur.2d Gambling sec. 50 (1968)).

The current statute is quite different from that in effect when Lloyd was decided. At that time, bookmaking was defined in terms of making or keeping a book for registering bets (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1953, ch. 38, par. 336). That was the basis for the charge in Lloyd, but the evidence presented at trial there showed only that the defendant had received a $20 bill and a piece of paper on which the bettor had written the name of a horse and the number and day of a race. Accordingly, the appellate court ...


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