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Betting, Sweepstakes And Lotteries

Volume 237: debated on Thursday 3 April 1930

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asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the advertisements of the Guardian Pari-Mutuel Company, Limited, offering to act as agents for the collection of bets for transmission to the totalisators operated on racecourses by the Betting Control Board under the Racecourse Betting Act; and whether he proposes to take any action under the existing law to confine the facilities for betting with totalisators to the racecourses as provided by the Act?

The hon. Baronet has been good enough to forward to me a copy of the advertisement referred to. The Board receives the bets on approved racecourses only, and is advised that the arrangement is in order.

Has the right hon. Gentleman noted that the pamphlet referred to has on the outside cover, "Away betting on the racecourse Tote"; and, though it invites the enrolment of members, there is no financial obligation implied, and that, in fact, this organisation is carrying on betting away from the racecourses, contrary to the Act of Parliament legalising the, totalisator?

I accept the comment as well grounded. I do not approve the course that has been taken; I am merely explaining what the law is.


asked the Home Secretary if he is aware of the practice of certain bookmakers of circularising persons to enter into betting transactions and offering as an inducement to open credit accounts; and whether he will consider the advisability of introducing legislation to prevent the issue of such circulars?

I am aware of the practice; I can only say concerning all such matters that, while proposals for legislation are of course always considered, I cannot promise to introduce legislation with the object of disturbing the existing position one way or another.


asked the Home Secretary if he will consider the advisability of setting up a Select Committee to consider the condition of the existing law in relation to betting, sweepstakes, and lotteries?

In view of the very difficult and chaotic condition of the law, will the right hon. Gentleman be prepared to consider setting up a Select Committee, if representations are made from all opinions in this House?


asked the Home Secretary whether it is his intention to take steps to prevent the traffic in tickets in foreign lotteries, either by stopping circulars respecting such lotteries in transmission through the post, or by intercepting letters and remittances directed to the persons from whom the circulars emanated?

The Departments concerned do all that is possible to stop foreign lottery circulars in the post.