Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–1705. Gambling premises; definition; prohibition against maintaining; forfeiture; liens; deposit of moneys in Treasury; penalty; subsequent offenses.

(a) Any house, building, vessel, shed, booth, shelter, vehicle, enclosure, room, lot, or other premises in the District of Columbia, used or to be used in violating the provisions of § 22-1701 or § 22-1704, shall be deemed “gambling premises” for the purpose of this section.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person in the District of Columbia knowingly, as owner, lessee, agent, employee, operator, occupant, or otherwise, to maintain, or aid, or permit the maintaining of any gambling premises.

(c) All moneys, vehicles, furnishings, fixtures, equipment, stock (including, without limitation, furnishings and fixtures adaptable to nongambling uses, and equipment and stock for printing, recording, computing, transporting, safekeeping, or communication), or other things of value used or to be used in:

(1) Carrying on or conducting any lottery, or the game or device commonly known as a policy lottery or policy, contrary to the provisions of §  22-1701;

(2) Setting up or keeping any gaming table, bank, or device contrary to the provisions of §  22-1704; or

(3) Maintaining any gambling premises shall be subject to forfeiture consistent with the standards and procedures set forth in D.C. Law 20-278.

(d) Whoever violates this section shall be imprisoned not more than 180 days or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both, unless the violation occurs after the person has been convicted of a violation of this section, in which case the person may be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1331, ch. 854, § 866; June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 95, ch. 159, § 206(b); Sept. 21, 1961, 75 Stat. 540, Pub. L. 87-259, § 1; July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a); May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 2(l), 41 DCR 1639; Aug. 20, 1994, D.C. Law 10-151, § 105(i), 41 DCR 2608; June 12, 1999, D.C. Law 12-284, § 4, 46 DCR 1328; Sept. 14, 2011, D.C. Law 19-21, § 9045, 58 DCR 6226; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 201(q), 60 DCR 2064; June 16, 2015, D.C. Law 20-278, § 305, 62 DCR 1920.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-1505.

1973 Ed., § 22-1505.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 23-546.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 19-21, in subsec. (c), substituted “General Fund” for “Treasury of the United States to the credit”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317, in (d), substituted the first occurrence of “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $1,000” and the second occurrence of “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $2,000”.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-278 rewrote (c).

Cross References

Return of property by property clerk, see § 5-119.16.

Search warrants, see § 23-521 et seq.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 105(i) of the Omnibus Criminal Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 1994 (D.C. Act 10-255, June 22, 1994, 41 DCR 4286).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization and Street Solicitation for Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-428, August 6, 1998, 45 DCR 5884).

For temporary amendment of section, see § 4 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Legislative Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-506, November 10, 1998, 45 DCR 45 8139), and § 4 of the Metropolitan Police Department Civilianization Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-13, February 8, 1999, 46 DCR 2333).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 201(q) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Temporary Legislation

Section 4 of D.C. Law 12-282 inserted “designated civilian employee of the Metropolitan Police Department or any” in (c).

Section 13(b) of D.C. Law 12-282 provided that the act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.

D.C. Law 20-278, referred to in (c)(3), enacted Chapter 3 of Title 41 (§ 41-301 et seq.), made amendments to the criminal offenses in §§ 48-901.02 and 48-905.02, and made conforming amendments to §§ 7-2507.06a, 8-905, 22-902, 22-1705, 22-2723, 32-1343, 48-905.03, and 50-1501.04.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.