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Illegal Gambling

Volume 13: debated on Monday 16 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied with the effectiveness of the measures available to the police to contain illegal gambling; and what training is given to the police to cope with this problem.

The Royal Commission on Gambling recommended some minor extensions of police powers, but in general I am satisfied that the police have adequate powers to deal with illegal gambling. Police training centres and individual forces, with the assistance of Gaming Board inspectors, give probationer police constables training in the laws relating to gambling. Further in-force training is at the discretion of chief officers of police.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the numbers of convictions for illegal gambling for the years 1978, 1979 and 1980.

Information collected centrally does not distinguish all offences relating solely to illegal gambling. Information on the number of offenders found guilty of any offence against the betting, gaming and lotteries legislation is published annually in the 'Criminal Statistics, England and Wales'—offence classification 75 for indictable offences and offence classification 106 for summary offences in tables S1.1(A) of 'Supplementary tables 1980, Vol. 1' for magistrates' courts and offence classification 75 in table S2.1(A) of Vol. 2 for the Crown Court. Corresponding information for 1978 and 1979 was published in table 1(a) and 5(a) of Cmnd. 7670 and 8098 respectively. In 1978 offence classification 75 was not applicable to proceedings at magistrates' courts.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, when he examines the evidence pertinent to the dispute between the Horserace Levy Board and the bookmakers' committee of the Horserace Levy Board, he will take into consideration the possible resurgence of illegal gambling should small bookmakers be faced with an exceptionally high levy.