Dealing in gambling devices.
Public utilities to cease service.
Gambling by participants in contest.
Bribery of participant in contest.
Endless sales chains.
Interstate transportation of gambling devices.
Ch. 945 Cross-reference
See definitions in s. 939.22
In this chapter:
A bet is a bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement. But a bet does not include:
Bona fide business transactions which are valid under the law of contracts including without limitation:
Contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or other commodities, and
Agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of the chance including without limitation contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life or health and accident insurance;
Offers of purses, prizes or premiums to the actual contestants in any bona fide contest for the determination of skill, speed, strength, or endurance or to the bona fide owners of animals or vehicles entered in such contest;
An agreement under which an employee is given an opportunity to win a prize, the award of which is determined by chance, in return for the employee making a referral or identification described in s. 945.01 (5) (b) 2. h.
“Bookmaking" means the receiving, recording or forwarding of a bet or offer to bet on any contest of skill, speed, strength or endurance of persons or animals.
A gambling machine is a contrivance which for a consideration affords the player an opportunity to obtain something of value, the award of which is determined by chance, even though accompanied by some skill and whether or not the prize is automatically paid by the machine.
“Gambling machine" does not include any of the following:
A device used in conducting a bingo occasion or raffle under ch. 563
, used in conducting a lottery under ch. 565
, or used in conducting a race under ch. 562
Any amusement device if it rewards the player exclusively with one or more nonredeemable free replays for achieving certain scores and does not change the ratio or record the number of the free replays so awarded.
An amusement device involving skill, if it rewards the player exclusively with merchandise contained within the amusement device proper and limited to prizes, toys and novelties, each having a wholesale value which is not more than 7 times the cost charged to play the amusement device once or $5, whichever is less. In this subdivision, “skill" means, within an opportunity provided for all players fairly to obtain prizes or rewards of merchandise, a player's precision, dexterity or ability to use his or her knowledge which enables him or her to obtain more frequent rewards or prizes than does another less precise, dextrous or knowledgeable player.
A gambling place is any building or tent, any vehicle (whether self-propelled or not) or any room within any of them, one of whose principal uses is any of the following: making and settling bets; receiving, holding, recording or forwarding bets or offers to bet; conducting lotteries; or playing gambling machines.
“Gambling place" does not include a place where bingo or a raffle is conducted under ch. 563
, where a lottery is conducted under ch. 565
or where a race is conducted under ch. 562
and does not include a gambling vessel that is in the process of construction, delivery, conversion or repair by a shipbuilding business that complies with s. 945.095
Evidence that the place has a general reputation as a gambling place or that, at or about the time in question, it was frequently visited by persons known to be professional gamblers or known as frequenters of gambling places is admissible on the issue of whether it is a gambling place.
Any gambling place is a public nuisance and may be proceeded against under ch. 823
A lottery is an enterprise wherein for a consideration the participants are given an opportunity to win a prize, the award of which is determined by chance, even though accompanied by some skill.
“Lottery" does not include bingo or a raffle conducted under ch. 563
, pari-mutuel wagering conducted under ch. 562
or the state lottery or any multijurisdictional lottery conducted under ch. 565
“Consideration" in this subsection means anything which is a commercial or financial advantage to the promoter or a disadvantage to any participant, but does not include any advantage to the promoter or disadvantage to any participant caused when any participant learns from newspapers, magazines and other periodicals, radio or television where to send the participant's name and address to the promoter.
In any game, drawing, contest, sweepstakes, or other promotion, none of the following constitutes consideration under this subsection:
Filling out a coupon or entry form that is received through the mail or published in a newspaper or magazine, if facsimiles of the coupon or entry form or handwritten and other informal entries are acceptable or if no purchase is required.
Furnishing proof of purchase if the proof required does not consist of more than the container of any product as packaged by the manufacturer, or a part of the container, or a facsimile of either.
Sending the coupon or entry form and proof of purchase by mail to a designated address.
Filling out a coupon or entry form obtained and deposited on the premises of a bona fide trade fair or trade show defined as an exhibition by 5 or more competitors of goods, wares, or merchandise at a location other than a retail establishment or shopping center or other place where goods and services are customarily sold; but if an admission fee is charged to the exhibition all facilities for obtaining and depositing coupons or entry forms shall be outside the area for which an admission fee is required.
Visiting a mercantile establishment or other place without being required to make a purchase or pay an admittance fee.
An employee referring a person to the employee's employer to purchase goods or services from the employer, or identifying for the employer a person who may purchase goods or services from the employer, regardless of whether the employee who makes the referral or identification is compensated in any manner for the referral or identification.
(6) Wire communication facility.
“Wire communication facility" means any and all instrumentalities, personnel and services, and among other things the receipt, forwarding or delivery of communications used or useful in the transmission of writings, signs, pictures and sounds of all kinds by means of wire, cable, microwave or other like connection between the points of origin and reception of such transmission.
The defendant's use of a warehouse to conduct pyramid club meetings was a “principal use" under sub. (4) (a). State v. Dahlk, 111 Wis. 2d 287
, 330 N.W.2d 611
(Ct. App. 1983).
Evidence of prior gambling activity is necessary to prove the existence of a “gambling place." State v. Nixa, 121 Wis. 2d 160
, 360 N.W.2d 52
(Ct. App. 1984).
The definition of “gambling machine" in sub. (3) is not unconstitutionally vague. State v. Hahn, 221 Wis. 2d 670
, 586 N.W.2d 5
(Ct. App. 1998), 97-3065
If the defendant satisfied all the requirements of s. 100.16 (2), it is entitled to the exemption under sub. (5) (b) 2. g. No additional, unstated requirements will be read in. Bohrer v. City of Milwaukee, 2001 WI App 237
, 248 Wis. 2d 319
, 635 N.W.2d 816
For a machine to fall under the definition of a gambling machine under sub. (3), there is no requirement that patrons actually receive payouts or prizes in exchange for redeemable credits. Champeau v. City of Milwaukee, 2002 WI App 79
, 252 Wis. 2d 604
, 642 N.W.2d 634
Monies paid by individuals to subscribe to cable TV could be consideration that would make a bingo game offered over cable TV gambling. 60 Atty. Gen. 382.
A silent auction is not a lottery because the element of prize is not present. 62 Atty. Gen. 122.
The illegality of Michigan lottery activities in Wisconsin is discussed. 62 Atty. Gen. 186.
If any element of Indian tribe's television bingo game occurs off the reservation, it is subject to prosecution under Wisconsin criminal law. 80 Atty. Gen. 332
Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor:
Enters or remains in a gambling place with intent to make a bet, to participate in a lottery, or to play a gambling machine; or
Conducts a lottery, or with intent to conduct a lottery, possesses facilities to do so.
History: 1977 c. 173
Games such as “Las Vegas nights" constitute illegal lotteries; the law does not exempt benevolent and nonprofit organizations. 70 Atty. Gen. 59.
Commercial gambling. 945.03(1m)
Whoever intentionally does any of the following is engaged in commercial gambling and, except as provided in sub. (2m)
, is guilty of a Class I felony:
Participates in the earnings of or for gain operates or permits the operation of a gambling place; or
For gain, receives, records or forwards a bet or offer to bet or, with intent to receive, record or forward a bet or offer to bet, possesses facilities to do so; or
For gain, becomes a custodian of anything of value bet or offered to be bet; or
Conducts a lottery where both the consideration and the prize are money, or with intent to conduct such a lottery, possesses facilities to do so; or
Sets up for use for the purpose of gambling or collects the proceeds of any gambling machine; or
For gain, maintains in this state any record, paraphernalia, tickets, certificates, bills, slip, token, paper, writing or other device used, or to be used, or adapted, devised or designed for use in gambling; or
For gain, uses a wire communication facility for the transmission or receipt of information assisting in the placing of a bet or offer to bet on any sporting event or contest, or for the transmission of a wire communication which entitles the recipient to receive money or credit as a result of a bet or offer to bet.
If the violation of sub. (1m)
involves the possession, operation, setup, collection of proceeds, participation in earnings or maintenance of, or involves acting as the custodian of anything of value bet or offered to be bet on, not more than 5 video gambling machines on premises for which a Class “B" or “Class B" license or permit has been issued under ch. 125
, the person may be penalized as follows:
If the violation involves one video gambling machine, the person may be required to forfeit not more than $500.
If the violation involves 2 video gambling machines, the person may be required to forfeit not more than $1,000.
If the violation involves 3 video gambling machines, the person may be required to forfeit not more than $1,500.
If the violation involves 4 video gambling machines, the person may be required to forfeit not more than $2,000.
If the violation involves 5 video gambling machines, the person may be required to forfeit not more than $2,500.
The offense of commercial gambling is distinguishable from the offense of making a bet. The statute is not unconstitutionally vague. State v. Vlahos, 50 Wis. 2d 609
, 184 N.W.2d 817
A complaint charging 30 counts of commercial gambling, one for a specific bet allegedly taken by the defendant and 29 for the regular receipt of bets from 8 bettors with all but one named in 2 or more counts, on unspecified athletic events over extended periods was multiplicitous and defective as to the 29, because the counts divided a single charge of continuous commercial gambling into several counts. State v. George, 69 Wis. 2d 92
, 230 N.W.2d 253
A video poker machine is not a gambling machine per se
. The defendant must have collected proceeds from video poker machines knowing they were being used for gambling and that the proceeds were derived from the gambling. State v. Hahn, 203 Wis. 2d 450
, 553 N.W.2d 292
(Ct. App. 1996), 94-2567
An Iowa-licensed river boat equipped with casino-style gambling games may be engaged in illegal commercial gambling if it enters Wisconsin waters. 79 Atty. Gen. 206
Although an indictment failed to state which of 7 subsections the defendants' alleged gambling business violated, more specificity was not required to enable the defendants to successfully plead the bar of double jeopardy and to inform them of what they would have to meet to formulate a defense; thus the indictment was not subject to dismissal. U.S. v. Halmo, 386 F. Supp. 593
Certain slot machines on licensed premises. 945.035(1)(1)
In this section, “exempt slot machine" means a slot machine manufactured before December 31, 1974, that is exempt from the prohibition under s. 945.05 (1)
because it is intended to be used solely for display, restoration and preservation purposes.
No person to whom a license or permit has been issued under ch. 125
may do any of the following: