The basic starting point for the research leading to the information in the table below is drawn from 162 American Law Reports 1224, which contains the annotation: Gambler’s right to recover money lost by him as including money belonging to others. The annotation is very much out of date, having been written over 50 years ago.  I have read all the statutes that are summarized in the table below and have attempted to discover any similar laws in other states

I would appreciate advice from any reader who may know of laws in other states that have the same effect as those summarized in the table, or of changes in the laws that are summarized.

The following table presents information about laws in those states that in which I have been able to find specific statutes authorizing the recovery of gambling losses.

The table contains the following columns:

State:   Shows the name of the particular state.
Statute Section:   Gives the applicable section of that state’s statutes.
Recover:  Indicates if a gambling loss is recoverable.  If the table has blank rows after the name of a state, then I have not been able to find a specific gambling loss recovery loss statute.
By 3d Party:   Indicates whether a third party may seek to recover a gambling loss if the actual loser does not do so.  In some cases only the state’s law enforcement authorities are authorized third parties.
Treble:   Indicates whether the statute allows for treble recovery in certain circumstances.
Statute of Limitation:   Sets forth my best guess as to the time frame within which a suit may be brought by the loser and/or a third party to recover gambling losses.

StateStatute ReferenceRecoverBy 3d PartyTrebleStatute of Limitations
Alabama8-1-150YesNoNo12 months
Arkansas16-118-103YesNoNo90 days
Connecticut 52-553 & 52-554YesNoNo3 months
District of Columbia16-705YesYesYes3 months + normal civil action?
Florida849.12, 849.26 & 849.29YesNoNoNormal civil action?
Georgia13-8-3(b)YesYesNo4 years
Illinois5/28.8YesYesYes6 months
Indiana34-16-1YesYesNo6 months
Kentucky372.020 & 372.040YesYesYes5 years.
Maryland12-110YesNoNoNormal Statute of Limitations
MassachusettsChapter 137, Sec. 1YesYesYes3 months + normal civil action?
Michigan730.315 (1)
[see also 600.2939 (1)
YesNoNo3 months  (1)
StateStatute ReferenceRecoverBy 3d PartyTrebleStatute of Limitations
Minnesota541.20YesNoNoNormal Statute of Limitations
Mississippi87-1-5YesNoNoNormal Statute of Limitations
Missouri434.030 et seq.YesNoNo3 months
Montana23-4-131YesNoNo1 year
New Hampshire338:3YesNoNoNormal Statute of Limitations
New Jersey2A:40-5 & -6 (2)YesYesNo1 year
New Mexico44-5-1YesNoNo1 Year
New York5-419 & 5-421YesNoNo 3 months or longer
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio3763.02YesYesNo6 months + Normal Statute of Limitations?
Oregon30.74YesNoDoubleNormal Statute of Limitations
Rhode Island
South Carolina32-1-10YesYesQuadruple3 months + normal Statute of Limitations?
South Dakota21-6-1Yes(3)No6 months
Tennessee28-3-106YesNo, except for benefit of spouse or childrenNo90 days to 27 months
Vermont11-51 & 3981YesNoNo1 month or longer
Virginia11-15YesNoNo3 months
Washington4.24.070 YesNoNoNormal Statute of Limitations
West Virginia55-9-2YesNoNo3 months
Wisconsin945-10 (4) YrsNo NoNormal Statute of Limitations?
StateStatute ReferenceRecoverBy 3d PartyTrebleStatute of Limitations
(1)  750.315 Losing at gambling.

Losing at gambling—Any person who shall lose any sum of money, or any goods, article or thing of value, by playing or betting on cards, dice or by any other device in the nature of such playing or betting, and shall pay or deliver the same or any part thereof to the winner, and shall not, within 3 months after such loss, without covin or collusion, prosecute with effect for such money or goods, the winner to whom such money or goods shall have been so paid or delivered, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding 3 times the value of such money or goods. Such loser may sue for and recover such money in an action for money had and received to the use of the plaintiff; and such goods, article or valuable thing in an action of replevin, or the value thereof in an action on the case.

Also,  600.2939 Gaming; action by loser; oath of parties; prosecution according to common law; forfeiture; limitation; securities; lands enuring of benefit.

(1) In any suit brought by the person losing any money or goods, against the person receiving the same, when it appears from the complaint that the money or goods came to the hands of the defendant by gaming, if the plaintiff makes oath before the court in which such suit is pending, that the money or goods were lost by gaming with the defendant as alleged in the complaint, judgment shall be rendered that the plaintiff recovered damages to the amount of the said money or goods, unless the defendant makes oath that he did not obtain the same, or any part thereof by gaming with the plaintiff; and if he so discharges himself, he shall recover of the plaintiff his costs; but the plaintiff may at his election, maintain and prosecute his action according to the usual course of proceedings in such actions at common law.

(2) Every person who wins or loses, at any time or sitting, by gaming or betting on the hands or sides of such as are gaming, any money or goods, to the value of $5.00 or more, whether the same is paid over or delivered, or not, shall forfeit and pay 3 times the value of such money or goods if the action therefor is commenced within 6 months after the committing of the offense.

(3) All notes, bills, bonds, mortgages, or other securities or conveyances whatever, in which the whole or any part of the consideration, shall be for any money or goods won by playing at cards, dice, or any other game whatever, or by betting on the sides or hands of such as are gaming, or by any betting or gaming whatever, or for reimbursing or repaying any moneys knowingly lent or advanced for any gaming or betting, shall be void and of no effect, as between the parties to the same, and as to all persons, except such as shall hold or claim under them in good faith, and without notice of the illegality of such contract or conveyance.

(4) Whenever any mortgage or other conveyance of land is adjudged void under (3), such lands shall enure to the sole benefit of such person or persons as would be entitled thereto, if the mortgagor or grantor were naturally dead; and all grants and conveyances for preventing such lands from coming to or devolving upon the person or persons to whose use, and benefit the said lands would so enure, is fraudulent and of no effect, except as against purchasers in good faith, and without notice of the illegality of such mortgage or other conveyance.

(2)  New Jersey Senate Bill 1013 seeks to clarify definition of illegal gambling to address Internet gambling; void credit card debt incurred through illegal gambling; authorize only the State to recover illegal gambling losses and to outlaw online gambling.  Also introduced in previous legislative session as S2376.  As of July 4, 2005, S1013 has not been reported out of the New Jersey Senate Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

(3)  21-6-2.   Action by state’s attorney for benefit of spouse, minor children or public schools.
In case the losing party fails to bring an action under § 21-6-1 within the time allowed by said section, it shall be the duty of the state’s attorney, at any time within six years from the date of the loss, to bring action to recover such thing, or the value thereof, for the benefit of the spouse or minor children of such party, or, in case there be no spouse or minor children, for the benefit of the public schools.

(4)  945-10.  Anything of value received by any person as a prize in any lottery conducted in violation of this chapter shall be forfeited to the state and may be recovered in any proper action brought by the attorney general or any district attorney in the name and on behalf of the state.

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