With Las Vegas being a sports gambling Mecca, Nevada courts inevitably see many "sports bribery" cases where a player or umpire is offered or asks for money in exchange for "fixing" the final score. Unlike commercial bribery which is only a misdemeanor, sports bribery is charged as a felony and will result in hefty fines and prison time.
The legal definition of sports bribery in Las Vegas, Nevada, is when someone offers, gives, accepts, or asks for any compensation with the intention that a player, referee, or other official of a sporting event will either:
"not use best efforts to win, or
so conduct himself or herself as to limit his or her or his or her team's margin of victory, or
corruptly judge, referee, manage or otherwise officiate the sporting event or contest with the intention or purpose that the result of the sporting event will be affected thereby."
Therefore if an ordinary citizen gives an umpire money to make incorrect calls during a game, both the citizen and umpire may be charged with the Nevada crime of sports bribery. It does not make a difference if the umpire ultimately backs out and calls the game fairly -- merely entering into the deal constitutes sports bribery.
Intent & Defenses
Because sports bribery in Nevada is an intent crime, you may not be convicted of it if you did not deliberately exchange compensation with the understanding that it was meant to influence the outcome of a sporting event. When fighting a sports bribery charge in Las Vegas, your attorney may try to show that you lacked the prerequisite intent or else that you were entrapped or coerced into the bribery.
Bribery in sporting contests is a federal crime as well as a state crime. Whether prosecutors will press state or federal charges in a sports bribery case typically turns on whether the alleged bribery affected or involved interstate commerce. (18 U.S.C. 224)
The Las Vegas crime of sports bribery is a category C felony in Nevada, mandating a sentence of:
one to five years in Nevada State Prison, and
maybe a fine of up to $10,000
If prosecutors elect to bring federal charges rather than Nevada state bribery charges, the punishment carries up to five years in prison and/or a fine.
Other bribery offenses
Sports bribery is only one kind of bribery offense in Nevada. Below are links to our other informational pages on Las Vegas bribery laws:
Arrested? Call us now . . . .
If you have been charged with giving or accepting a bribe to influence the outcome of a sporting event in Nevada (NRS 207.290), then contact our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers today at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a free phone meeting to discuss your options. We will negotiate with prosecutors to try to get your case dismissed or reduced to a lesser offense, and if necessary we will take your matter all the way to trial.
- Go to our Las Vegas Bribery Law main page