The crime of bookmaking is illegal iunder Section 337a of the California Penal Code. “Bookmaking” is defined broadly. It can include the acceptance of even a single bet. Thus, you don’t have to work as a bookie or keep a book of bets or wagers to be charged with bookmaking. In fact, you can be charged with bookmaking or a similar crime for holding or forwarding a bet.
Gambling is also generally illegal in California. While gambling is often charged as an infraction, it is a felony or misdemeanor if large amounts of money are involved (over $2,500) or if it is done on-line. A prosecution for bookmaking can also involve the seizure of large volumes of documents and claims by the government for forfeiture of proceeds.