to elevate the employees, and discourage drinking,
gambling, and all that tends to degrade, the good
that may be done is incalculable. To the present
writer it appears that there is no way of pro-
ducing among the working classes a sound public
opinion on such a question as the one we are
considering, more immediately effective than through
the appointment of men of high character to posi-
tions of responsibility in factories, offices, and shops.
If any of us who are seeking to combat the gambling
evil could impress this single fact upon one large
employer of labour, we should probably be sowing
seeds from which we might expect to reap a very
Whilst the influence of the employer and of his
foremen is of widest importance, we should not
underestimate that of even one ordinary workman,
inasmuch as those who work alongside him are
likely to be even more influenced by his actions
188 BETTING AND GAMBLING
and opinions than by those of men in higher
In conclusion, the writer may state his belief
that the solution of the gambling evil, as of many
other social evils, will never be permanently effected
without a great deepening of the moral and spiritual
life of the nation. Our churches do well to bear in
mind that they are not ends, but merely means to
an end. Nay, that religion itself exists for the
production of men and women of high moral
character, strong to resist temptation, strong in
their desire after the Kingdom of God and His
righteousness. "We want, in our churches, to
develop persons with a vigorous faith, who fully
realise the social as well as the spiritual character
of this Kingdom. To this end let us keep the
spiritual flame burning. Tor a vital, religious
faith — the faith that worketh by love — is at the
root of all true and permanent social reform.
The Select Committee appointed to inquire into the
increase of public betting amongst all classes, and
whether any legislative measures were possible and
expedient for checking the abuses occasioned thereby,
reported as follows in June 1902 : —
1. After hearing much evidence, the Committee are
of opinion that betting is generally prevalent in the
United Kingdom, and that the practice of betting has
increased considerably of late years especially amongst
the working classes, whilst, on the other hand, the
habit of making large bets, which used at one time to
be the fashion amongst owners and breeders of horses,
has greatly diminished. Betting is not confined to
horse-racing, but is also prevalent at athletic meetings
and football matches.
2. Various suggestions have been made to the Com-
mittee in explanation of the alleged spread of betting.
It has been urged that the increase in the practice is
only proportional to the growth and increased prosperity
of the industrial population of the country, and that the
operation of the Betting Houses Act, by driving book-
makers into the streets, has brought their business
more to the notice of Magistrates.
3. The Committee are, however, of the opinion that
even when due allowance has been made, both for the
192 BETTING AND GAMBLING
increase in the population of towns, and the rise in
wages, betting is undoubtedly more widespread and
general than it used to be.
4. Although the Committee do not look upon
betting as a crime in itself, they yet deplore the spread
of a practice which, when carried to excess, they con-
sider opposed to the true interests of sport, injurious
to the general community, and apt to degenerate into
one of the worst and most mischievous forms of
5. The Committee consider that the increased pre-
valence of betting throughout the country is largely
due to the great facilities afforded by the press, and to
the inducements to bet offered by means of bookmakers'
circulars and tipsters' advertisements.
6. In support of this opinion, the Committee point
to the great increase of newspapers devoted entirely to
sporting matters, and to the publication of articles
upon racing news, and of sporting tips or prophecies.
7. There can be little doubt that the almost universal
practice of publishing in newspapers Avhat are known as
"starting-price odds" greatly facilitates betting upon
horse-races, and several witnesses have urged that the
practice should be forbidden by law. Others, however,
have expressed their conviction that the chief results of
such prohibition would be to facilitate and encourage
dishonesty among bookmakers.
8. The Committee, having given careful attention to
both of these divergent views, are not prepared to
recommend the prohibition.
9. The Committee cannot condemn too strongly the
advertisements of sporting tipsters and others which
appear in the columns of many newspapers. The
Committee believe that such advertisements are a
direct inducement to bet, and that much of the news
which they profess to give could only have been
obtained by inciting persons employed in racing stables
I APPENDICES 193
to divulge secrets. The Committee are therefore of the
opinion that all such advertisements are highly ob-
10. The Committee would point out that in France
advertisements of this character are forbidden by law,
and several witnesses have urged that repressive legis-
lation on the same lines should be introduced into this
country. The Committee are of opinion that all such
advertisements, as also betting circulars and notices,
should be made illegal.
11. The Committee are convinced that it is impos-
sible altogether to suppress betting, but they believe
that the best method of reducing the practice is to
localise it as far as possible on race-courses and other
places where sport is carried on.
12. Four different means have been suggested of
effecting this object : —
(1) The licensing of bookmakers.
(2) The establishment of the system of betting
known as the " Pari Mutuel " or " Total-
(3) More effectual methods for stopping betting
in the streets.
(4) To make it illegal for a bookmaker to bet in
any place of public resort except at the
place on which the sport is being carried
on, and there only in an enclosed space
under the control of managers who should
be held strictly responsible for the mainten-
ance of order.
13. The plan of giving licences to bookmakers has
been adopted in some of the Australian Colonies, and, if
it were introduced into this country, it might possibly
diminish street betting, and also do much to check
fraud and dishonesty both on the part of the book-
maker and of the backer.
14. But the establishment of such a system in this
194 BETTING AND GAMBLING i
country is open to serious objections. In Australia, as
the number of bookmakers is comparatively few, it is
possible for the racing clubs, which grant the licences,
to exercise a strict supervision and control. In this
country, where the number of bookmakers is so much
greater, it would be practically impossible for the
Jockey Club to undertake the duty of licensing, and, if
the work were undertaken by the State, it would mean
the legal recognition of the bookmaker and necessitate
the making of betting debts recoverable by law.
15. The Committee after mature consideration do
not think it would be desirable to legalise betting in
this manner, and are also of the opinion that the
establishment of such a system would rather increase
than lessen the amount of betting prevalent at the
16. The latter objection can also, of course, be
brought with equal truth against the " Pari Mutuel,"
as the absolute fairness of the " Totalisator " system of
betting is a protection to tlie small bettor, who might
otherwise not care to risk his money with a book-
17. In some of the Australian Colonies, in India, and
in France this system has been adopted, and is said to
work satisfactorily. In France the money invested
annually in this way amounts to between six and seven
millions sterling. Two per cent of this sum is given
to public charities, and one per cent goes to the Minister
of Agriculture and is devoted to the encouragement of
horse-breeding and to other similar purposes. The
Committee, however, fear that the evil of adopting this
system would by its encouragement of the gambling
instinct far outweigh any gain that might accrue, and
therefore cannot recommend it.
18. It has been proved conclusively to the Com-
mittee that the practice of betting in the streets has
increased very much of late years, and is the cause of
I APPENDICES 195
most of the evils arising from betting among the
The fact that bookmakers can ply their trade in the
open street, and lie in wait to catch working men in
their dinner hour outside factories and workshops in
order to induce them to bet, is undoubtedly a great
source of evil.
19. Evidence has also l)een brought before the
Committee to show that street bookmakers bet not
only with men, but also with women and children.
20. At the present time such offences can only be
dealt with as " obstruction " under various local Acts,
or under particular bye-laws in each town, the penalty
in either case and the powers of the police being
inadequate to check the practice.
21. When a street bookmaker is convicted 25
times in four years and is able to pay £137 :8s. in
fines and costs (to take a typical example of many
cases which have been brought to the notice of the
Committee), it is obvious that the profits of his calling
must be very great, and that the penalties jtrovided by
the law to restrain his trade are not sufficiently strong.
22. The Committee, therefore, recommend that, in
view of the acknowledged evils of this form of betting,
there should be further legislation, enabling Magistrates
to send bookmakers to prison without the option of a
fine for the first offence, who have been convicted of
betting in the streets with boys or girls, or otherwise
inducing them to bet.
The Committee further recommend that bookmakers
convicted of betting in the streets should be liable to a
fine of £10 for the first offence, £20 for the second
offence, and that for any subsequent offence it should
be within the discretion of the Magistrate either to
impose a fine of not more than £50 or to send the
bookmaker to prison without the option of a fine. The
Committee also recommend that the police should be
196 BETTING AND GAMBLING i
given the same power of summary arrest which they
possess in cases of obstruction of the highway.
23. The Committee recommend that the following
amendments should be made in the Betting Houses
Act of 1853 :—
(i.) That in view of the uncertainty which has
arisen since the decision of the Kempton
Park case as to what constitutes a " place "
within the meaning of the Act, further
legislation should make it quite clear that
bookmakers are prohibited from carrying
on their business in public-houses or in
any public place.
(ii.) That the meaning of "resorting thereto,"
that is, to a betting-house, in Section 1
should be extended so as to include
persons making bets by correspondence
or through an agent.
(iii.) That, if thought necessary, having regard to
recent decisions, it should be made clear
that it is an offence under Section 1
for persons to use an office in the United
Kingdom for obtaining the receipt of
money elsewhere, whether within or
without the United Kingdom, or for the
proprietor of the office to permit such user.
(iv.) That Section 7 should be extended so as to
include the advertisement in this country
of any betting-house within the meaning
of the Act which is kept abroad.
24. The Committee further recommend that the
Betting Act of 1874 should be extended to the adver-
tising of information or advice to be obtained from any
person or at any place, though it may not come Avithin
the description of a betting-house within Section 1 of
the Act of 1853, and whether within or without the
I APPENDICES 197
25. The Committee recommend that the Betting
and Loans (Infants) Act 1892 (Lord Herschell's Act)
should be extended to ready -money betting with
infants, that is to say, the receipt of money from an
infant as consideration for a bet to be made with such
26. The Committee recommend that on any race-
course bookmakers should only be allowed to carry on
their business within definite rings and enclosures.
27. Various witnesses have given evidence as to the
prevalence of betting at athletic meetings, and to the
difficulty which owners of athletic grounds have in
preventing a practice which they with justice consider
opposed to the best interests of amateur sport.
28. Since the decision in the Kempton Park case, it
has been impossible for the police to stop bookmakers
carrying on their trade at athletic meetings, except at
the direct request of the proprietors of the ground.
29. The Committee, therefore, recommend that on
any race-course or other ground on which a sport is
being carried on, where a printed notice is publicly
exposed by the responsible authorities to the effect that
" No betting is allowed," a bookmaker who continues to
bet shall be liable to summary arrest and a fine.
30. It has been suggested in evidence before the
Committee that powers should be given to the Post-
master-General and his principal assistants in Scotland
and Ireland, to open all letters supposed to contain
coupons or betting circulars sent from abroad.
In this connection the Committee have received
valuable evidence from Mr. Lamb, C.B., C.M.G., and
Sir Robert Hunter, on behalf of the Postmaster-General,
which makes it impossible for them to recommend the
3L The Committee are, however, of the opinion
that the same power as the Postmaster-General already
possesses to stop letters sent in the open post relating
198 BETTING AND GAMBLING i
to lotteries should be given to him to stop circulars
relating to coupon competitions, or advertisements of
betting commission agents and sporting tipsters.
32. The Committee do not consider that it would be
possible for the Postmaster-General to make any dis-
tinction between the facilities afforded to betting
telegrams and other telegrams.
LORD DAVEY'S STREET BETTING BILL 1903
A Bill intituled " An Act to amend the Betting Acts
1853 and 1874, and for other purposes."
Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty,
by and with the advice and consent of the Lords
Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same,
as follows : —
1. The word "resorting" in section one of the
Betting Act 1853, and this Act, shall include applying
by the agency of another person or by letter, telegraph,
telephone, or other means of correspondence, and the
word " resort " in section seven of the said Act, and in
this Act, shall have the same meaning.
2. The provisions of section three of the Betting
Act 1853 shall extend and apply to any person opening,
keeping, or using, within the United Kingdom, any
house, office, room, or place for the purpose of any
money or valuable thing being received by or on behalf
of the keeper of any betting-house or office situate
either within or without the United Kingdom.
3. The provisions of section seven of the Betting
Act 1853 shall extend and apply to any person ex-
hibiting or publishing, or causing to be exhibited or
published, any placard, handbill, card, writing, or other
200 BETTING AND GAMBLING ii
advertisement whereby it shall appear that any house,
office, room, or place is opened, kept, or used either
within or without the United Kingdom for the pur-
poses in the said section mentioned or referred to, or
any of them, and to any person who shall invite other
persons to resort to any house, office, room, or place
either within or without the United Kingdom for the
purposes aforesaid or any of them : Provided that, if it
appear that any such advertisement or invitation has
been published in any registered newspaper inadvert-
ently and without knowledge on the part of the pro-
prietor or manager of the newspaper of the nature of
the business advertised or the meaning of the contents
of the advertisement, the penalty may be remitted by
4. (1) Any person exercising the business of a book-
maker or betting agent by betting or offering to bet
with other persons or inciting other persons to bet with
him, or receiving money or other valuable thing as con-
sideration for any bet, or paying or settling any bets in
any street or other public place, or any place to which
the public have unrestricted access, or any house
licensed for the sale of intoxicating liquors, shall be
guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall be liable, if con-
convicted for the first offence, to a fine not exceeding
ten pounds, and for the second offence to a fine not
exceeding twenty pounds, and for any subsequent
offence, if convicted on indictment, to a fine not exceed-
ing fifty pounds or to imprisonment, with or without
hard labour, for a term not exceeding six months,
without the option of a fine, and, if convicted on a
summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding thirty
pounds or to imprisonment, with or -wathout hard
labour, for a term not exceeding three months, without
the option of a fine : Provided always, that if a person
be convicted under this section of betting with any
person under the age of sixteen years or receiving
II APPENDICES 201
money from or paying money to luiy such person or
inciting any such jjerson to bet Avith him he shall be
liable for the first and every subsequent offence to the
maximum penalty or imprisonment hereinbefore im-
posed for the third and subsequent offences.
(2) All books, cards, papers, and other articles con-
nected with such betting as aforesaid shall be deemed
to be instruments of gaming, and any person so offend-
ing as aforesaid shall be deemed to be a rogue and
vagabond within the meaning of fifth George the
Foui'th, chapter eighty-three, and shall be subject to
be arrested and searched in accordance with the pro-
visions in that behalf therein contained.
(3) Any person who appears to the court to be
under the age of sixteen years shall for the purpose of
this section be deemed to be under that age unless the
contrary be proved.
(4) For the purpose of this section, the word "street"
shall have the same meaning as in the Public Health
5. The proprietors or persons having the control
of any area within which sports are carried on may
exhibit at the entrance or in some conspicuous place
Avithin the same, notices that betting is prohibited
within the said area or some part thereof, and, in that
case, any person who shall hold himself out as ready to
bet with other persons, or incite other persons to bet
with him, within the area where betting is so pro-
hibited, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act,
and shall be liable to the same penalties as he would
have been under this Act if he had been convicted of
betting in the street.
6. Any person who knowingly receives money from
an infant as consideration for a bet to be made with
him shall be guilty of an oflfence within section one of
the Betting and Loans (Infants) Act 1892, and shall
be liable to the penalties imposed by that section, and
202 BETTING AND GAMBLING ii
the other provisions of the said Act shall be applicable
7. (1) The penalties imposed by this Act may be
recovered by proceedings under the Summary Juris-
diction Acts, and, in Scotland, in the manner provided
by section four of the Betting Act 1874, save where
otherwise provided; and, in Scotland, "indictment"
has the same meaning as in the Criminal Procedure
(Scotland) Act 1887.
(2) The provisions as to arrest and search contained
in Statute of fifth George the Fourth, chapter eighty-
three, shall, by this Act, be applied to offences under
sections four and five of this Act committed in Scot-
8. In this Act —
The word " bookmaker " means a person exer-
cising the business of betting with persons
resorting to him for the purpose :
The word " betting agent " means a person act-
ing as agent for a bookmaker or for making
bets between any two persons.
9. This Act may be cited as the Betting Act 1903,
and shall be read with the Betting Acts 1853 and
Note. — Lord Davey has just introduced another Bill entitled
' ' An Act for the Suppression of Betting in Streets and other
Public Places" (Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, ^d. ). It is a
very valuable measure, but has been confined for good reasons to
offences coming under the title of Street Betting. In any further
legislation it will be necessary to bring the advertisements of
Betting Houses, the proprietors of which call themselves Com-
mission Agents, whether British or Foreign, under such provisions
as those of the Betting Act 1853 (section 7), as pointed out by the
Lord Chief Justice.
SUMMAKY OF LORDS' COMMISSION
House of Lords Select Committee on Betting
Excerpts from Evidence
Witnesses: Mr. John Hawke, Honorary Secretary,
National Anti-Gambling League, and Mr. G. H. Stut-
FIELD, Counsel for the Jockey Club, and for the Book-
makers and Street Bookmakers.
Mr. Hawke gave evidence as to the great increase
during late years, especially in street betting at starting
prices, and newspaper coupon betting ; also as to betting
at athletic sports and in public-houses ; as to the bye-
laws being passed by local authorities on street betting,
and the enormous scale upon which coupons are carried
on, one proprietor of an insignificant newspaper receiving
between £2000 and £3000 a week in postal orders,
etc., as acknowledged by himself in e\ddence. After his
conviction his newspaper was advertising the business
as continued from Holland.
Mr. Stutfield (Q. 299) said he believed that artisans
of all ages and all classes, including women, put their
small coins on horses through the street bookmakers.
He did not think (Q. 300, etc.) that such backers —
he could not say about the children — required protec-
tion against being over-matched by the bookmakers.
He did not see any reason in legal principle (Q. 435-
204 BETTING AND GAMBLING iii
36) why foreign coupon houses should be allowed to
advertise in English papers, but he did not think it
would do any good to prohibit it.
He agreed that all, or nearly all, such betting as
street betting was now done at starting prices (Q. 308-9),
guaranteed by the bookmaker to the customers by the
publication in newspapers of the starting-price odds (Q.
315-16), but he did not think (Q. 266) its prohibition
would stop starting-price betting, as he expected that
bookmakers would form some plan to reassure their
clients (Q. 269) as to their being fairly dealt with.
He considered that a result of the Kempton Park
case was that it was no infringement (Q. 475-76) of the
Betting Act of 1853 for bookmakers to carry on their
business in athletic sports grounds, and that under that
decision (Q. 573) public-houses may practically become
betting exchanges, and sometimes do. The Kempton
Park case did not decide that the race-course ring
could not be a place under the Act, but that it was not
used by a person in the position of an occupier or owner
He did not think that new forms and new kinds of
betting should be dealt Avith in the same way as the
1853 Act dealt with what existed at that time ; and he
did not advocate any extension of it (Q. 443-44), as he
did not consider that it was really intended to suppress
betting (Q. 443) but that it may have done a certain
amount of good in preventing crowds of people resorting
to a particular house and creating scandal (Q. 438).
He did not, however, consider that the betting in
public houses was very desirable (Q. 517), and would
amend the Licensing Act. He did not think that bye-
laws could deal with licensed houses, but that they
might put down betting in streets and public places
He said that if the bookmaker were suppressed there
would be no betting (Q. 535-36), as he thought occa-
iiT APPENDICES 205
sional private bets between individuals without a book-
maker could not be satisfactory (Q. 532).
With regard to the friendly actions in which Mr.
Stutfield had been engaged as counsel on behalf of the
betting men, viz. the Kempton Park case, Stoddart of
Sporting Luck against his printers, the Argus Printing Co.,
and Thomas v. Sutlers (the street bookmaker's appeal